May 27, 2024

Measured By The Heart

All About Healthy Life Style

What are the Ethics behind Online Therapy or internet counseling? 

There is huge risk

You know that there are boundaries for psychiatrist that everything his or her client says must stay between them. On the internet it doesn’t depend only on them, because there are many hackers that are willing to break into others people privacy only for sake of amusement. It is the least dangerous scenario, not all hackers are of good will. Some of them are very malicious and they even can blackmail you, and they will ask for money. So, by putting your private life on the Internet you risk to lose a lot.  

Taking all this stuff in consideration, E-Therapists has to obtain from you informed consent. That is kind of document you have to sign before starting any session. Online therapists need to inform clients about any potential risk they take by using this possibility of online sessions. So, if you are not willing to risk that everybody is going to know about your taught and about your inner world, do not become E-Therapy user.

Not everything needs to stay between you

Things that I am going to write do not apply only to online therapies, but for all kind of psychotherapies. As mentioned, psychiatrist committed himself or herself to not speak with anyone about what is said in the sessions. 

Well, you are not actually 100 percent sure that “everything you say stays between you two”. But if you don’t intend to kill someone or at least if therapist thinks that you are not threat to any third party, you don’t need to worry. There is something called duty to warn. It is the duty of therapists to warn authorities if they think that their client is possible treat to community.

This duty was established back in 1976, when one client killed young women. The client was giving clear signs that he is malicious and that he even made death treats on the sessions. Later women’s family sued therapist. 

The problem with online therapies is that psychotherapists cannot really see if the client is treating. Given that there are methods of communication beside video calls therapists could not be sure about client’s intention. Body language plays very important role in discovering these intentions, and in some kind of E-Therapies therapists even cannot see client, for example in e-mail therapies and during phone calls. Sometime the problem is that therapists don’t even know customer’s real name.

Experts must get involved in whole story

The most frequent taught about online therapies is that it is not as good as real, face to face therapy and that is indeed true. Nothing can’t substitute live sessions. To understand it better I will ask you one question. Can you be in online relationship whole life? Probably, not right? It is not even close to the real relationship. Writing messages, sending photos could be fun. Thanks to the new applications video calls become the most ordinary thing, but still it is not right thing. Well it is same with E-Therapies. Nevertheless, people use this online service. Maybe it is because they are lazy, maybe they like it more, who knows, but the conditions stay same.

When it is already like that, it is better for experts to get in whole story. If you ask why, the answer is very simple. People’s need to be supported and heard can be misused. Unskilled people need a job, and they see their opportunity in lack of experts. There is space on the Internet for online therapists, and if experts don’t fill this space, other people, amateurs will. Mental health is serious and very complex thing. Support is mandatory, especially nowadays, but online therapy is not always all about support. Sometimes clients have real problems, and they need someone experienced and educated who can help them to cure themselves. That’s why experts have duty to join this new branch of psychotherapy. 

Identity is important

It is always important to know you are working with. Knowing name and face is almost mandatory in psychotherapies. Psychology and psychotherapies are all about man and his or her mind and personality. Every information you can get as psychiatrist is bonus. On the Internet people often represent themselves as someone they are not. They are telling fake names and posting fake profile images. Of course, you cannot hide your face in video calls, but still you can lie about your personal data. 

This service is kind of obligatory relationship. The most law systems recognize it like that, so you having some kind of relationship with someone that you don’t know at all can be really dangerous. As we already talk, there are cases when clients are treats to society, and even if therapists realize this, he needs to know his clients real name to take any action.