week 5 forum post responses 6

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

Many services are available in the convenience of our own homes, including therapy. In this forum, we will focus on the relationship between technology and therapy.

  • What are your thoughts about counseling via the Internet?
  • What are some advantages of online counseling?
  • What are some disadvantages of online counseling?
  • What specific ethical issues do you think need to be raised?
  • Would you use this form of technology in your counseling practice? Why/why not?

forum post response #1

  • What are your thoughts about counseling via the Internet?

The new technology has brought to us easy way of working from home or communicating with people from outside presence. Counseling via internet is made easy with technology. In fact it is the best way to receive counseling.

  • What are some advantages of online counseling?

One advantage of online counseling is that one can log on in their convenient time to receive counseling. Another advantage of online counseling is that one don’t have to waste gas or a transport fee in other to go see a counselor. Another Advantage is that it saves time and reduces stress.

  • What are some disadvantages of online counseling?

The disadvantages of online counseling is that there is chances that one cannot trust the system and the counselor, with the fact that the counselor might not be educated. Also there could be chances that the internet it’s not secured. Most internet could not be trusted because there could be scam counselors. Another disadvantages of online counseling is that it could be very expensive to maintain. Web pages are expensive to maintain and in order to have it as a business there is Need for people to turn up in other for the person or the Counselor to be able to maintain paying for the internet.

  • What specific ethical issues do you think need to be raised?

Ethical issue here that could be a problem is trust. If one could not trust a system the person should not use the system because there are reasons why the person could not trust the system. Most people prefer face-to-face counseling because they could receive more friendly talks than using internet. Another ethical issue that could be a problem is being able to resolve a problem using the online system of chatting. Problem resolution is always very important and should be a priority because it is the reason why the person actually go for counseling online. There is also a problem of normatively involved. There are simple norms that people should put in practice during working. This norms suppose to help them do their work better but when the counselor is not on their best attitude it could be a problem.

  • Would you use this form of technology in your counseling practice? Why/why not?

I don’t think I would use internet for counseling because I prefer being a counselor at school; at the local school, but if it happens that I find a job online I as a counselor, I will definitely manage it. So therefore I may or may not work online as a counselor. It depends on the job opportunity that I will be working on.

Forum post response #2

  • Despite the fact that many services are available in the convenience of our own homes, including therapy. But my thoughts about counseling via the internet is so much concerned about the ethical aspect of the client’s privacy and confidentiality. Although it is seen as a very flexible ways of providing services in such a way that is beneficiary to both clients and clinicians whereby information is sent and respond to easy, but my concerned is more about leakage and hackers risk of client’s personal electronic records. Based on the nature of insecurity when it comes to internet counseling, especially due to technological fluctuation or issues during treatment has been my other concerned about internet counseling especially in case of an emergency situation. Despite the fact that internet counseling might be seen as less expensive and more beneficial to clients especially those in rural areas who could not afford the cost of transportation compared to the traditional face-to-face counseling settings which required driving to a professionals office to schedule an appointment. But the areas of privacy and confidentiality was still my major areas of concern about internet counseling.
  • There are a lot of benefits and advantages associated with online counseling which is very beneficiary to both clients and counselors. Online counseling is known to be very advantageous to clients on remote areas, this gives them the opportunity to save the cost of traveling to cities to schedule appointment with their counselors. It gives clients the opportunity to interact with counselors via email and other sources of communication. This makes information become very easily accessible and comfortable for clinicians to think about their client’s health care issues before responding to their clients. It limits the pressure from immediate response and make it very comfortable for clients who experiences social phobia or anxiety to be able to participate openly without feelings of fear about public. It is also an educative tools which gives clients the opportunities to become more conscious about their psychological health to help them map out a strategy to learn more about their health behaviors and coping mechanisms to help promote their psychological feelings of helplessness and suffering.
  • Despite the beneficial aspects of online counseling, there are some disadvantages which is associated with online counseling as well which includes security issues with clients such as confidentiality, privacy, effective understanding of client’s informed consent, unreliable technological issues, and also clinicians professional competency might pose as a major issues during the counseling process. Also, this might be very disadvantageous for clients who have an intention of committing suicide. It might as well pose as a threat for clinicians to intervene during a critical time of crisis situation and also due to lack of information, might pose as a challenging factor for insurance companies to pay for counseling services of client as well.
  • There are a lot of ethical concerns when it comes to online counseling that needs to be put into consideration. First and foremost, due to the fact that hackers are constantly online doing their business, the client’s privacy and confidential information might raise a serious ethical issues that needs to be put into consideration. Secondly, client’s informed consent might pose as a challenging factor especially for client’s with an intention of self harm or others, as well as clients with suicide thoughts or behaviors. It is also very important for clinicians to develop a professional cultural competency especially when dealing with clients from different diversity during intervention as well which might pose an ethical issues especially when there is lack of communication or language barrier. All of these might pose an ethical concern especially when such counseling is not in line with state and federal counseling regulation.
  • Due to the flexibility and less time consuming opportunity involved during this form of counseling especially when it comes to safeguarding my profession against violation of client’s privacy and confidentiality with an unauthorized individual. It would likely make me not accept the use of this form of technology in my counseling practice. The reason why I would not use this form of technology in counseling practice is due to unreliable technology and sometimes due to lack of appropriate important information with facial expression or body language. This might be a limiting factor understanding and evaluating a clients feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and mood as well in order to properly come into an accurate conclusion. When it comes to lack of intimacy interacting and due to technological issues accessing clients records during treatment especially during an emergency situation might pose as a serious challenge for me not to use this form of technology in my counseling practice.

Forum post response #3

This week we are discussing the internet, psychology, and online counseling. We live in an era where everything is done online. People don’t typically buy a recipe book anymore, they “Google” a recipe for their desired meal at the click of a button. People don’t send out photos of their newborn babies to their closest friends and family, they just post their “Fresh 48” baby photos to social media. These are just some examples of how our lives have moved to the online world of digital connections. Personally, it scares me! I am so unsure where things are going, but I also am not the most tech savvy person so I struggle to print/scan something. I recognize that no matter how I feel about this change, it is happening and it is happening fast. I was just having a conversation with my family about “Maybe it’s time to get rid of most of these DVD’s”. I prefer to use the actual DVD to watch my favorite movies, but in the age of smart TV’s, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, they don’t have much use anymore. I think when it comes to social interaction it cannot be viewed the same as some of our information resources being switched to the online world. People need to be able to communicate with all the facets of communication such as haptics, proxemics, tone of voice, etc. This is especially important if someone is coming into counseling for anxiety of depression, they are likely to misinterpret a therapist’s chat box in writing.

Based on this, I do not think that text only online counseling is ideal for clients. While there are other options that are like phone sessions, and video chat, I think those are more acceptable. I have seen Ad’s and commercials recently of some kind of text therapist app while on the go. I think this is horrible. Please someone help me to see a better purpose of this type of counseling? I think this is great for those who are lonely and maybe “need a friend to talk to about their daily activities”, however paying for a counseling service is not the same thing as a friendship. If someone is lonely, they would benefit more from a real counseling session to learn social skills and resources for making connections and friendships. Providing them a temporary solution potentially stunts their ability to form “real friends” because on the subway home they are texting their therapist, instead of chatting to the girl next to them with the matching bag and same book.

The ethical concerns about online counseling are significant. It has less monitoring or ways to report, unless it is done through a strictly online servicing company. The therapist can potentially be out shopping, while their client is suicidal and need their full attention. Perhaps even could be driving. The other question of ethics is the billing process for online counseling. How would one bill for text therapy?

I do believe there are some instances where online counseling could be beneficial, but believe them to be short term solutions. Perhaps those who are traveling, or deployed, or those who are crippled by social anxiety, or with an illness unable to travel to a session.

I would not use this form of technology in my counseling, at least not initially. If I have developed rapport with a client and they are going on a long trip, or even moving and want to continue counseling through that time period it might be an option to do video sessions, or phone sessions. I would allow clients to text me, to simply set up a time or text about a crisis, however I would not engage in actively texting back and forth as a therapy session.

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