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
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.
About 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.
I have recently been taking a look at what can happen to compassion when communicating in online contexts and after a personal experience, produced a set of Netiquette guidelines which have been adopted by several organisations. I research and write articles which particularly focus on the therapeutic relationship in online spaces, and look to support fellow therapists by keeping up with current dilemmas.
Website: Dr Carole Francis-Smith - Counselling Psychologist
Facebook Page: Diamondleaf training