Internet Counseling – Rules and Expectations

Linked below is a 4 page document entitled “The Practice of Internet Counseling” by the National Board for Certified Counselors.  Contained within it is a statement of principles we use here at try-therapy.com to guide our practice of “technology-assisted” Internet Counseling.  The technology we employ to facilitate communication includes email, instant messaging, telephone, SMS text messages, and video-conferencing.  We also offer traditional “face-to-face” counseling.

For simplicity’s sake, we have clarified our position on a number of salient points.  Please note this is a work in progress and is subject to be modified at any time.

  • All customers interested in securing technology-assisted Internet counseling from try-therapy.com will be issued a client specific “codeword.”  In cases where it is difficult to determine identity, that codeword will be requested.  In the absence of the codeword, no information will be released.
  • We are committed to ensuring our clients know how to contact us when we are off-line.  This includes reasonable response times for various forms of communication:

 

  • EMAIL:  All email will be responded to within 48 business hours.  Typically, we respond to most email the same day.  Email is not a preferred method for communicating urgent needs and should not be used to communicate time-sensitive information.
  • (SMS) TEXT MESSAGES: Text messages are occasionally employed to communicate non-sensitive information like scheduling changes.  Under no circumstances should sensitive information if any kind be communicated via SMS text message, especially time sensitive information.  All text messages will be replied to within 24 business hours.  Typically, most text messages will be returned within two hours if they arrive within normal business hours, CST, Monday-Friday.  Do not assume that your text message has been delivered until you receive a reply from the recipient.  Having access to your therapist via text messaging is a privilege not a right and can be revoked at any time.  In cases where text messaging is deemed to be used in excess of what is needed (more than 5 per month) – charges of $1 per text message (sent/received) may apply.

 

  • TELEPHONE CALLS: Phone calls, when placed or answered, should be conducted in a place of relative privacy.  Due to the inherent nature of many of our conversations, we discourage clients from placing or receiving phone calls to/from their therapist in public places.  You confidentiality is important to us – if we are in a public place we will let the call go to voicemail and return your call as soon as we can do so AND maintain your confidentiality and privacy.
  • Instant messages or chat communication are used, where applicable, to facilitate communication.  The decision to employ this medium is a mutual decision that will be made between client and therapist.  There are inherent risks and confidentiality concerns with various chat and instant messaging clients – in any case try-therapy.com will make best of breed recommendations to maximize privacy and confidentiality.

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