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Terms of Service

Welcome to the terms of service page. This particular page outlines the specific terms of services for online counseling. It is my duty as a therapist to inform potential clients of the standards of online therapy. As a member of one segment of the American Counseling Association, I am obligated to uphold the ethical standard to "do no harm."


As a online therapist, I have the responsibility to provide a secure online environment for clients.

 

Below is a general outline of specified ethical standards that all online counselors must abide by when counseling individuals.

 

Ethical Principles Relevant to Online Clinical Care

 

  •  Confidentiality: Because this is a online therapeutic platform, there must be extra precautionary measures to ensure the online security of individuals within the counseling process. As a professional counselor, it is my primary obligation to protect client confidentiality. By doing so, I also understand that I must protect confidential information that is stored or transferred on the internet.  

 

  • Multiple Relationships: As a online therapist, I am strictly forbidden to develop any non-therapeutic relationships outside of the counseling process. Non-therapeutic relationships could impair objectivity, competency, or effectiveness in performing clinical duties. Any such relationships could also pose any risks of exploitation or danger to clients.

 

  • Informed Consent: This procedure is basically standard protocol for regular in-person or online counseling. As standard procedure for counseling, I have the responsibility to obtain the informed consent of clients using the services that are offered online.  Clients have the right to be aware of their clinical rights in regards to treatment in a format that is easy for them to understand.  Informed consent includes information about the nature and process of treatment, fees, involvement of third parties, as well as the limits of confidentiality. In this process, clients must be given the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about the services. 

 

  • Establishing Professional Relationships:  As a therapist, I am aware that confidentiality relationships do not take place in public domain and I will make every effort to minimize any intrusions on privacy including informing clients to avoid discussion of their counseling activities and restricting personal client contact on social media networks such as  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.   I have the responsibility to discuss private matters with potential clients within a private forum without drawing attention to their interest in the counseling process.

 

  • Documenting and Maintaining Records: As a online therapist, my sole concern is my clients' personal welfare on the internet. I am responsible for maintaining and documenting clients' records and ensuring the safety of client information and all related files. This is a legal requirement within the national healthcare standard of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

 

Social Media Ethical Standards

 

       While counseling online, therapists are always aware of online dangers within social media. Any online case consultation that reflect clients' material, even when the information is appropriately sealed,  should be properly encrypted.  Internet therapists are very mindful of the various ways that connecting with clients on social media may potentially compromise client confidentiality.  In regards to email interaction, text message contacting, and other ways of online communication, online therapists such as myself are aware of third party messaging platforms that has limited security and privacy features. We have the responsibility to inform our clients at the beginning of the therapeutic process about appropriate ways of contacting us. In regards to friend requests and follow requests, online therapists are prohibited to gain friendship or to follow any individuals that are clients. This means that clients are not allowed to engage within online correspondence with therapists on their personal pages. Therapists online are obligated to maintain a strict professional relationship with clients at all times.

 

*Note* This is a general outline of the ethical standards of online counseling. By communicating the standards of online counseling on this page, it is my hope that individuals seeking counseling will have a better understanding of how online counseling works. It is also my hope that those individuals seeking professional assistance will understand how safeguards are put in place for their online security.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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