Online Therapy

This paper discusses the ethical and clinical considerations of online therapy.

This paper relates that on-line therapy has transformed the mental health community forever. The author stresses that some of the ethical considerations of online therapy are the complexities of providing the patient with the proper assessment because the lack of verbal and nonverbal cues available online and issues concerning security, privacy and confidentiality of working over the Internet. The paper concludes that online therapy provides individuals with a convenient way to get the help that they need.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Definition of Online Therapy
Ethical Considerations
Intricacy of Providing Proper Assessment
Issues Concerning Security, Privacy and Confidentiality
Complexity of Ensuring the Identity of the Practitioner or the Client
Practitioners Not Aware of the Proper Local Resources for Referrals
Problems with Avoiding Inappropriate Relationships
Poor Access for Low-Income or Under-Educated Clients
The Lack of Specificity
The Responsibilities of Psychologists
Clinical Considerations
The Effectiveness of Online Therapy
Technological Training
Reconstruction of the Mental Health Delivery System
Legal and Liability Issues
Discussion and Conclusion
“The vast majority of people in the mental health community feel that there is a huge ethical burden that online therapists are required to bear. These ethics are really no different from the ethics that are in place at traditional practices. However, these ethics are more difficult to enforce because of the lack of physical contact that the therapist and the patient have. For this reason, psychologists must be given a clear description of the ethical challenges that they face and how they can be addressed. Carlson and Harvey (2003) assert that many organizations in the mental health arena have begun to address these issues and make them clear to practitioners.”

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