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practitioners. After all, “the Internet is here to stay, and we need to change and adapt, developing re- silience as practitioners in our relationship with the digital world.” [1]


These Guidelines are recommendations intended to assist counsellors and psychotherapists to make informed decisions about their uses of technology. Although the use of these Guidelines is voluntary, they are recommended as an essential tool for those professionals aspiring to become resilient practitioners.


DEVELOPING THE GUIDELINES


WHAT DID WE LEARN?


First and foremost, counsellors and psychothera- pists are using technology in their practices with clients and in supervision. Two messages came across loud and clear from our research, the discussion with our panelists and our membership survey. First, we need to know how to use the tech- nologies; and secondly, we need to know the risks of using technology and how to mitigate those risks. From the survey and panel discussion, we also learned:


To develop the Guidelines, we conducted a literature review as well as a review of existing guidelines and standards of practice for the uses of technology in counselling and psycho- therapy. We hosted a roundtable discussion with a multidisciplinary panel of experts from a diverse range of interests and expertise in legal and ethical issues as well as with service, software and hard- ware provider experts. We used their best advice/ counsel/current information to guide the creation of the Guidelines. The panel discussion centered mostly on the following question:


What, in your opinion, is the most crucial infor- mation for counsellors and psychotherapists to know about privacy and security?


 Currently, the most common technologies used to communicated with cli- ents are email and phone (cell or smartphone).


 The most common technologies used to offer counselling or psychothera- py are webcam/video- conferencing and phone (cell or smartphone).


 Not everyone uses


the most basic security measures to protect their client data.


 More than half the respondents do not have a social media policy, although all of them seem to indicate that they use social media.


What, in your opinion, is the most crucial information for counsellors and psychotherapists to know about privacy and security?


In the Spring of 2017, TISC surveyed CCPA mem- bers. Our survey explored the depth and breadth of the CCPA membership’s current knowledge around the use of technology in counselling and psycho- therapy. The aim was to also gain a clearer under- standing of the needs and concerns of the mem- bership around the use of technology in their practice. Once we had an initial draft of the Guide- lines, we sought feedback from the Executive of TISC as well as from CCPA members through a poster session, written feedback and a member- ship webinar.


 The security of technology, privacy and juris- diction were the top concerns for clinicians. Interestingly, no concerns were expressed about the relational capabilities of any of the technologies.


 We need to understand what we are respon- sible for by law and then aim for an even higher standard.


 Do it “properly”—which means understand the laws and ensure you are managing the associated risks in an ethical way.


 Clients look to us as service providers to manage the privacy/security/confidentiality of technology.


[1] Weitz, P. Ed. (2014) Psychotherapy 2.0: Where Psychotherapy and Technology Meet. Karnac Books, London, UK p. 12


THE CANADIAN COUNSELLING AND PSYCHOTHERAPY ASSOCIATION SUMMER 2019


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