“Behind the Screen” – Session 2 – Ethical Issues, Boundaries, and Contracting: Exploring Matters of Safety for Practitioners and Clients – Kate Dunn & Carole Francis-Smith

Suggested Reference

Dunn K, Francis-Smith C, & Wilson J (2017). "Behind the Screen" - Session 2 - Ethical Issues, Boundaries, and Contracting: Exploring Matters of Safety for Practitioners and Clients. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.onlinevents.co.uk/behind-the-screen-session-2-ethical-issues-boundaries-and-contracting-exploring-matters-of-safety-for-practitioners-and-clients-kate-dunn-and-carole-francis-smith/. [Last Accessed 30/10/2017].

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Event Details


Communicating with clients online in any form (whether this involves administration of your practice, setting up appointments, sending and taking messages about appointments or directly offering computer-mediated therapy) can plunge the therapist and the client into an ethical quagmire.

  • How do existing ethical guidelines translate into the online environment?
  • Is there a need for new ethical guidelines and are any in existence?
  • What additional considerations do practitioners need to take into account?
  • How safe is the online environment and how can we encourage clients to protect their privacy and confidentiality?
  • How do practitioners set personal boundaries around their online activity and what do clients expect of us?

Questions such as these may arise on a daily basis within a contemporary practice environment.

In Event 2 of the series, Kate and Carole explored these themes and direct practitioners to a number of sources of support that can help clarify the issues, raise awareness of some of the pitfalls, and offer advice and possible solutions.

About Kate Dunn


Kate Dunn

I am a psychotherapeutic counsellor, supervisor, and consultant/trainer currently working in private practice both online and face-to-face. Whilst working as a counsellor in a university setting, I established an online service and subsequently carried out research into the Online Therapeutic Relationship, supported by Seed Corn Funding from BACP. I have shared ideas resulting from this research in journal articles (including Therapy Today, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Journal, and TILT magazine) and in the book: "Psychotherapy 2.0: Where Psychotherapy and Technology Meet", Edited by P Weitz, Karnac Books 2014.


Website: Kate Dunn - Counselling in Chichester, West Sussex


About Carole Francis-Smith


Carole Francis-Smith

I am a counselling psychologist working in private practice. I currently provide therapy and supervision both face-to-face and online, run trainings for therapists considering working online (and other mental health/staff resilience areas), and business coaching for therapists setting up an online practice. My doctoral research was in the Online Therapeutic Relationship from which I also became fascinated by online communications in broader contexts, especially where these impact on the work of therapists and the experiences of clients. I'm an advocate of Compassionate Mind training/Compassion Focused therapy and have recently been taking a look at what can happen to compassion when communicating in online contexts. The Netiquette guidelines I produced are in the process of being adopted by the Compassionate Mind Foundation as good practice.


Website: Dr Carole Francis-Smith - Counselling Psychologist
Twitter: @Diamondleaf_Tr
Facebook Page: Diamondleaf training