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Archive for the ‘Free Resources’ Category

Psychotherapists & Social Media – Free Webinar

17 Oct

Free webinar offered through our partnership with therapysites

Psychotherapists & Social MediaChances are good that you know how to use social media for marketing, socializing, and networking. But come learn about the common pitfalls and mistakes that are common to well meaning psychotherapists. Make sure that you steer clear of potential ethical breaches and that your social media practices are consistent with ethical guidelines.

After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the important ethical guidelines that are applicable to our online behavior.
  • Distinguish between personal and professional behavior online.
  • Describe the current research on therapist/client interactions on the internet.

REGISTER NOW! You won’t want to miss it!

Webinar Title: What Psychotherapists Should NOT Do on Social Media

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 2:00 – 3:00p EDT

Choose Professional Development Resources from the drop down question of “How did you hear about the webinar?”

About the speaker:

Keely Kolmes, Psy.D.Keely Kolmes, PsyD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Kolmes writes, does research, and provides consultation and training on clinical and ethical issues related to social networking and technology. Her Private Practice Social Media Policy has been internationally taught and adapted across health disciplines. She has published a New York Times Op-Ed on the challenge of consumer reviews of mental health services and developed Getting Better, a product to help clinicians track treatment outcomes and address client satisfaction on the Internet. She has been quoted in The Washington Post, Forbes, WIRED, BBC News, and HuffPostLive.

Related Online Continuing Education (CE) Course:

Ethics and Social Media is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the use of Social Networking Services (SNS) on both our personal and professional lives. Is it useful or appropriate (or ethical or therapeutic) for a therapist and a client to share the kinds of information that are routinely posted on SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and others? How are psychotherapists to handle “Friending” requests from clients? What are the threats to confidentiality and therapeutic boundaries that are posed by the use of social media sites, texts, or tweets in therapist-client communication? The purpose of this course is to offer psychotherapists the opportunity to examine their practices in regard to the use of social networking services in their professional relationships and communications. Included are ethics topics such as privacy and confidentiality, boundaries and multiple relationships, competence, the phenomenon of friending, informed consent, and record keeping. A final section offers recommendations and resources for the ethical use of social networking and the development of a practice social media policy. Course #20-75 | 2016 | 32 pages | 15 posttest questions

Professional Development Resources, Inc. is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) that provides accredited online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses for licensed healthcare professionals. We are approved by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

 

Small Steps to Living Healthy

27 Aug

From Florida Health

Small Steps to Living HealthyHealthiest Weight Florida is taking a new and creative approach to helping Floridians reach their healthy weight and live a healthy lifestyle. The program recently announced the launch of its new Small Steps to Living Healthy! campaign, which is a weekly email campaign that allows participants to sign up for weekly tips and tricks to help them reach their healthiest weight. Information is clear, concise and there to help participants take those difficult first steps to living healthy.

The program is free and participants can register or opt out at any time. Each week of the month the program will highlight a designated topic area:

  • Set Goals. At the beginning of each month, a challenge and health tip will be emailed. Examples of challenges include replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Move More. During the second week of the month, physical activity will be the highlighted. Participants will be introduced to different styles of exercise and the benefits of each, including options for persons with disabilities.
  • Be in the Know. Week three “fun fact” emails will provide facts on other aspects of healthy living related to healthy weight such as stress, depression and time use.
  • Eat Smart. The focus of this week’s email will be nutrition. Florida fruits and vegetables of the month, as well as recipes, will be offered through the Living Healthy in Florida Campaign.


Emails will continue throughout the year, but will never be sent more than once a week. Click here to sign up for Small Steps to Living Healthy.

To learn more about Healthiest Weight Florida visit www.healthiestweightflorida.com.

 

FREE CE Course Drawing!

29 May

From Professional Development Resources

Like us on Facebook for a chance to win a FREE CE course! The free course drawing for May is being held today! (Drawings held monthly.)

May Free Course Drawing

 

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by theTexas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

Online College Degree Resource for Florida Residents

09 Apr

By Kayla Lee

As college tuition continues to rise, an increasing number of students are looking at online degree programs. The amount of inaccurate information can be simply overwhelming. This is why we’ve made it our mission at OnlineColleges.net to research and provide an accurate resource, going so far as to collect our own school-level data that’s more accurate than the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database.

OnlineColleges.net

Our comprehensive resource includes:

  • The most affordable online colleges in Florida, including the most complete program-level information available on the web
  • A curated list of scholarships available to Florida students, along with a database of nearly 20,000 general scholarships
  • A searchable database of all accredited online colleges in Florida


Florida residents interested in pursuing higher education can view the resource here: http://www.onlinecolleges.net/florida/.

OnlineColleges.net is a practiced leader in online education information, with our materials referenced on the sites of organizations including the University of Washington, Northwestern University, the City of Indianapolis and many others.

About OnlineColleges.net: With a focus on emerging trends and developments in online education, OnlineColleges.net has been informing prospective students since 2009. OnlineColleges.net provides free student guides and college search information, along with expert advice from Melissa Venable, PhD, an experienced online instructor and thought leader.

 
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Spring into April CEU Specials

01 Apr

New Monthly Specials @ $10/Credit Hour!

Monthly-Specials-HP

Spring is here and so are your new April CE Specials! New ways to save on CE, including a FREE video course (NOT an April Fool’s Joke!).

p.s. Easter sale coming Friday…

Caregiver-Help-Free

Caregiver Help: Sex and Dementia explores how Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related diseases impact the brain in ways that can cause some challenging behaviors. Course #10-86 | 2015 | 55 minutes | 7 posttest questions

CE Credit: 1 Hour
Learning Level: Introductory Video Course
Sale Price: FREE! (reg $14)
Enroll Now!

Anti-Social-Youth

Anti-Social Youth & Conduct Disorders offers tailored tools that you need to manage and help anti-social and conduct disordered youth and children. Course #30-30 | 2012 | 35 pages | 20 posttest questions

CE Credit: 3 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $30! (reg $39)
Enroll Now!

Emotional-Overeating

Emotional Overeating: Practical Management Techniques discusses the causes of emotional eating and provides exercises to eliminate the addictive pattern. Course #40-26 | 2011 | 44 pages | 30 posttest questions

CE Credit: 4 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $40! (reg $56)
Enroll Now!

Prescription-Drug-Abuse

Prescription Drug Abuse examines the effects of the rise in prescription drug abuse, as well as treatment options for abusers. Course #30-61 | 2012 | 30 pages | 20 posttest questions

CE Credit: 3 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $30! (reg $39)
Enroll Now!

Clergy-Stress-Depression

Clergy Stress and Depression provides an understanding of the complex factors that cause stress and depression in clergy, along with recommendations for treatment. Course #40-32 | 2013 | 52 pages | 30 posttest questions

CE Credit: 4 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $40! (reg $56)
Enroll Now!

HIV-AIDS

HIV/AIDS: Therapy & Adherence discusses adherence issues and provides strategies for encouraging people with HIV to seek and maintain medical treatment. Course #30-78 | 2015 | 43 pages | 22 posttest questions

CE Credit: 3 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $30! (reg $39)
Enroll Now!

10-Reasons

Ten Reasons Not to Worry (Too Much) About Malpractice Claims presents ten reasons why the risk of a malpractice claim is really not very high. Course #10-64 | 2013 | 22 pages | 10 posttest questions

CE Credit: 1 Hour
Learning Level: Introductory Online Course
Sale Price: $10! (reg $19)
Enroll Now!

Visuals-for-Autism

Visuals for Autism: Beyond the Basic Symbols demonstrates when, how, and why to use visuals with students with autism. Course #20-94 | 2015 | 14 posttest questions

CE Credit: 2 Hours
Learning Level: Introductory Video Course
Sale Price: $20! (reg $38)
Enroll Now!

Alzheimers-Caregiver-Guide

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Guide and Tips on Acute Hospitalization offers strategies for managing the everyday challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s. Course #10-81 | 2010 | 17 pages | 7 posttest questions

CE Credit: 1 Hour
Learning Level: Introductory Online Course
Sale Price: $10! (reg $19)
Enroll Now!

Celiac-Disease

Celiac Disease: Basics & Beyond explains the basics of celiac disease from prevalence and pathophysiology to diagnosis and management. Course #20-76 | 2013 | 26 pages | 17 posttest questions

CE Credit: 2 Hours
Learning Level: Intermediate Online Course
Sale Price: $20! (reg $28)
Enroll Now!

Hurry, sale ends April 30, 2015! Sale prices valid on future orders only.

 10 Off  99

$10 Off $99 – All the Time!

Instantly save $10 on orders $99 or more (after coupons). Automatically applies at checkout. Valid on future orders only.

Earning CE Credits from the comfort of your own computer or tablet has never been so easy. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is approved to offer continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); theCalifornia Board of Behavioral Sciences; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; and by the TexasBoard of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners.

 

Holiday Hints for Alzheimer’s Caregivers

24 Nov

By the National Institute on Aging

Holiday hints for Alzheimer’s caregiversHolidays can be a wonderful time to visit and reconnect with family, friends, and neighbors for people with Alzheimer’s and caregivers. Balancing special holiday activities with everyday care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease may also seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for making things a little easier:

  • Set your own limits, and be clear about them with others. You don’t have to do everything you used to do.
  • Encourage friends and family to visit even if it’s difficult, but limit the number of visitors at any one time.
  • Explain to guests ahead of time that memory loss is the result of the disease and is not intentional.
  • During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, be sure to take care of yourself. Guard against fatigue and find time for adequate rest.

For more tips on how to prepare ahead of time and find a good balance during the holidays, download Alzheimer’s Caregiving Tips: Holiday Hints. This free tip sheet is available as a PDF and an eBook.

 

Cultural Formulation Interview

05 Nov

By NAMI and APA

cultural competence in healthcarePsychiatric and mental health in America has not succeeded at engaging people diagnosed with mental illness in their own care and empowering them and their families to become true partners with their providers. Misunderstandings and miscommunications can lead to dissatisfaction with treatment and sometimes even discontinuation. But when the whole of a person is taken into account, not only is the person likely to stay in treatment, they are likely to have a greater chance of recovery.

The APA is offering the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI), including the Informant Version, and the Supplementary Modules to the Core Cultural Formulation Interview for further research and clinical evaluation. They should be used in research and clinical settings as potentially useful tools to enhance clinical understanding and decision-making and not as the sole basis for making a clinical diagnosis. Additional information can be found in DSM-5 in the Section III chapter “Cultural Formulation.” The APA requests that clinicians and researchers provide further data on the usefulness of these cultural formulation interviews at http://www.dsm5.org/Pages/Feedback-Form.aspx.

Online assessment measures, including the CFI, are available @ http://www.psychiatry.org/practice/dsm/dsm5/online-assessment-measures#Cultural.

The Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) is a set of 16 questions that clinicians may use to obtain information during a mental health assessment about the impact of culture on key aspects of an individual’s clinical presentation and care.

The goal of the CFI is to lay the foundation for person-centered care and shared decision-making by encouraging clinicians to engage people seeking services and their families, from the very start, in a dialogue about how their cultural identities, values and prior experiences shape their care expectations and goals. But the CFI remains an underdeveloped tool. Clinicians and people living with mental illness need to know that it exists, and to use it to build a new type of partnership, without prejudice or stereotypes. All people diagnosed with mental illness have cultural identities, and our mental health system cannot expect any one of them to leave who they are at the door.

 
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Posted in Counseling CE, Free Resources, Mental Health, Psychology CE, School Psychology CE, Social Work CE

 

Need a Website? TherapySites Can Help!

01 Jul

By Gina Ulery

Professional Development Resources has partnered with TherapySites to provide a special offer for websites & online marketing services made for mental health professionals.

TherapySites

TherapySites specializes in creating websites designed for therapists that are professional, affordable, and effective. All you pay is a monthly hosting fee of $59/month with no long-term contracts. They deliver credit card processing, appointment requests, search engine optimization, and more – it’s all included! Attracting new clients and generating more revenue is easy with TherapySites!

Visit TherapySites today and provide promo code of PDR to receive A Free Website and One Month of Hosting Service.

 
 

Children’s Exposure to Violence

27 Feb

childrens exposure to violence Excerpted from the CE Course Children’s Exposure to Violence, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Professional Development Resources, 2009.

Children in the United States are more likely to be exposed to violence and crime than are adults. Children are exposed to violence every day in their homes, schools, and communities. They may be struck by a boyfriend, bullied by a classmate, or abused by an adult. They may witness an assault on a parent or a shooting on the street. Such exposure can cause significant physical, mental, and emotional harm with long-term effects that can last well into adulthood.

In 1999, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) created the Safe Start Initiative to prevent and reduce the impact of children’s exposure to violence through enhanced practice, research, evaluation, training and technical assistance, resources, and outreach. The initiative has improved the delivery of developmentally appropriate services for children exposed to violence and their families.

Understanding the nature and extent of children’s exposure to violence is essential to combating its effects. Partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, OJJDP has sponsored the most comprehensive effort to date to measure children’s exposure to violence. The National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence is the first survey to ask children and caregivers about exposure to a range of violent incidents and maltreatment.

Extent of the problem

The survey confirms that most of our society’s children are exposed to violence in their daily lives. More than 60% of the children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly (i.e., as a witness to a violent act; by learning of a violent act against a family member, neighbor, or close friend; or from a threat against their home or school). Nearly one-half of the children and adolescents surveyed (46.3%) were assaulted at least once in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 (10.2%) were injured in an assault; 1 in 4 (24.6%) were victims of robbery, vandalism, or theft; 1 in 10 (10.2%) suffered from child maltreatment (including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or a family abduction); and 1 in 16 (6.1%) were victimized sexually.

More than 1 in 4 (25.3%) witnessed a violent act and nearly 1 in 10 (9.8%) saw one family member assault another. Multiple victimizations were common: more than one-third (38.7%) experienced 2 or more direct victimizations in the previous year, more than 1 in 10 (10.9%) experienced 5 or more direct victimizations in the previous year, and more than 1 in 75 (1.4%) experienced 10 or more direct victimizations in the previous year.

Categories of victimization

Conventional crime. Nine types of victimization, including robbery, theft, destruction of property, attack with an object or weapon, attack without an object or weapon, attempted attack, threatened attack, kidnapping or attempted kidnapping, and hate crime or bias attack (an attack on a child because of the child’s or parent’s skin color, religion, physical problem, or perceived sexual orientation).

Child maltreatment. Four types of victimization, including being hit, kicked, or beaten by an adult (other than spanking on the bottom); psychological or emotional abuse; neglect; and abduction by a parent or caregiver, also known as custodial interference.

Peer and sibling victimization. Six types of victimization, including being attacked by a group of children; being hit or beaten by another child, including a brother or sister; being hit or kicked in the private parts; being chased, grabbed, or forced to do something; being teased or emotionally bullied; and being a victim of dating violence.

Sexual victimization. Seven types of victimization, including sexual contact or fondling by an adult the child knew, sexual contact or fondling by an adult stranger, sexual contact or fondling by another child or teenager, attempted or completed intercourse, exposure or “flashing,” sexual harassment, and consensual sexual conduct with an adult.

Witnessing and indirect victimization. These fall into two general categories, exposure to community violence and exposure to family violence. For exposure to community violence, the survey included 10 types of victimization, including seeing someone attacked with an object or weapon; seeing someone attacked without an object or weapon; having something stolen from the household; having a friend, neighbor, or family member murdered; witnessing a murder; witnessing or hearing a shooting, bombing, or riot; being in a war zone; knowing a family member or close friend who was fondled or forced to have sex; knowing a family member or close friend who was robbed or mugged; and knowing a family member or close friend who was threatened with a gun or knife.

For exposure to family violence, eight types of victimization were assessed: seeing a parent assaulted by a spouse, domestic partner, or boyfriend or girlfriend; seeing a brother or sister assaulted by a parent; threat by one parent to assault the other; threat by a parent to damage the other parent’s property; one parent pushing the other; one parent hitting or slapping the other; one parent kicking, choking, or beating up the other; and assault by another adult household member against a child or adult in the household.

School violence and threat. Two types of victimization, including a credible bomb threat against the child’s school and fire or other property damage to the school.

Internet violence and victimization. Two types of victimization, including Internet threats or harassment and unwanted online sexual solicitation.

Key elements of designing an effective response

Children exposed to violence have a variety of complex needs, and the network of child and family interventions must reflect this diversity of needs. It is unrealistic to expect that any single program can promote strength and resilience of children and families, provide interventions to reduce the negative effects of the exposure, and respond to the economic, social, and psychological needs of families. Each system should offer services that are based on its function and focus, work collaboratively with other agencies, and refer families for other services.

Research and program evaluations demonstrate that the best outcomes are achieved when the following response elements are adapted to specific fields of expertise, resources, and constraints:

Early detection and identification. Communities, families, and staff at different entry points should recognize and respond immediately to symptoms of exposure to violence.

Promoting community awareness and educating practitioners. Outreach includes contacting groups of people with information and resources and educating practitioners on core concepts of vulnerability and exposure to violence

Protocols, policies, and procedures. Programs and systems should have specific protocols, policies, and procedures that detail their response to child exposure to violence.

Referrals. Staff should be aware of services provided by other agencies and be able to provide appropriate referrals to these agencies, including mandated reporting to child protective services when required.

Evidence-based interventions. Research and emerging promising practices should inform service delivery.

Critical components of successful interventions include a developmental perspective that engages the child’s and the family’s ecological contexts and service systems to screen for, provide early intervention for, and respond to the treatment needs of children. Effectiveness is bolstered when treatment is offered in a range of settings, such as homes, early care and education programs, and schools, incorporating collaboration with health, law enforcement, legal, child welfare, and other systems.

If you would like the full text of this publication, it is available at no charge at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227744.pdf .

If you would like to read this entire article and receive two hours of continuing education credit, visit Professional Development Resources at https://www.pdresources.org/course/index/1/1144/Childrens-Exposure-to-Violence

 

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Ethics and Social Media

27 Feb

ethics and social mediaExcerpted from the CE Course Ethics and Social Media, Leo Christie, PhD and Professional Development Resources, 2009.

Whether we were trained in this century or one of the centuries past, we therapists find ourselves – for better or for worse –practicing in a digital world. In an article on social media and health care, one medical professional quipped “Take two aspirin and tweet me in the morning.” This is not entirely facetious, in that Social Networking Services (SNS) have become a reality of mainstream life – both personal and professional. Originally conceived as online social communication networks for connecting people who shared certain common interests, social networks like Facebook and Twitter have rapidly exploded into vibrant parallel universes.

Facebook, for example, which was created in 2004, announced in March 2013 that it had 1.11 billion active users. That statistic will – of course – be wildly outdated by the time you read this article. As a point of reference, the world population in early 2014 is estimated to be 7.2 billion. If both of these numbers are accurate, at least one in every seven human beings on earth is an active Facebook user. In light of such statistics, the inevitable is, of course, happening. The world of professional communication is being rapidly swept into the “new normal” medium of social networking. And therein lies the problem.

As is the case with most innovations, there are benefits and there are risks in the use of social networking. The benefits are usually seductive, promising increased speed, efficiency, and convenience. The risks are usually hidden, requiring thoughtful consideration before they show themselves. The point here is that the use of social networking technology has become so routine that clinicians might adopt it mindlessly without carefully thinking through the potential consequences in therapy situations. The results can include unanticipated breeches of confidentiality or the transmission of private information to unintended parties, sometimes leading to severe damage to clients.

What is social networking?

According to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012), ‘social networking’ is: “an inherently ambiguous term requiring some clarification. Human beings have been socially ‘networked’ in one manner or another for as long as we have been on the planet, and humans have historically availed themselves of many successive techniques and instruments for facilitating and maintaining such networks. These include structured social affiliations and institutions such as private and public clubs, lodges and churches as well as communications technologies such as postal and courier systems, telegraphs and telephones. When philosophers speak today, however, of ‘Social Networking and Ethics’, they usually refer more narrowly to the ethical impact of an evolving and loosely defined group of information technologies… that emerged in the first decade of the 21st century.”

What are the ethical issues?

Privacy. Possibly the most immediately obvious concern as we consider the use of social media by therapists and their clients is the threat posed to a client’s right and expectation that therapeutic communications and events will remain private and confidential. Just seeing the words “social” and “media” used in the same sentence as “privacy” or “confidentiality” is enough to activate flashing red warning lights.

It should be noted that privacy in a therapeutic setting has two aspects – the privacy of the client and the privacy of the therapist. Both aspects are relevant to the therapeutic process. Ethical principles generally address the former, but rarely do they address the latter. It should be noted that – at least within the current context – the issue of therapist privacy is seen not from the standpoint of the therapist’s own concerns for privacy, but from that of the client’s best interests. In other words, how can an unintentional exposure to the therapist’s private life negatively affect the client?

Most state laws require that psychotherapists maintain confidentiality. That is, they must be sure that the information that is shared with them by clients, including that person’s identity, remains confidential unless the client authorizes the release of that information. This requirement could easily be violated through the use of a website designed for social networking. For example, if one were to accept a request to become a friend of a client on Facebook, the issue of the possible exposure of that client’s identity to others must be addressed. In addition, just what information will be exchanged should also be addressed, because others might be privy to a client’s confidential information.

Boundaries and Multiple Relationships. The second most obvious concern in a discussion of psychotherapy ethics and social media is the potential threat to the maintenance of therapeutic boundaries within the context of a therapy relationship. Boundaries are instrumental in defining relationships. Clear boundaries are necessary in order for both therapist and client to understand the nature and purpose of their relationship with each other.

A closely related issue is the ethical requirement found in most codes of ethics that therapists refrain from engaging in multiple relationships. If it happens that a therapist and his or her client are interacting within a social media environment like Facebook, there is the possibility of a dual or multiple relationship. The following sections are intended to clarify potential threats to boundary maintenance and the avoidance of harmful multiple relationships in the use of social media.

Competence. Competence is an ethical requirement demanded of professionals, by which they are expected to carry out professional activities only within the boundaries of their training, expertise, and knowledge. This includes an understanding associated with various cultural and ethnic factors. Does the world of social networking introduce a new area of cultural understanding and competence? At least for those of us socialized and acculturated in the physical world of the 20th century, cyberspace and its planets Facebook and Twitter are indeed alien environments. We are confronted with different language, different cultural norms, strange denizens, and unfamiliar forms of social interaction. Fumbling though it all untutored, we are likely to encounter unexpected and unpleasant results.

The question of “friending”. According to Keely Kolmes, a San Francisco psychologist, “Some clinicians believe that friend requests from clients should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, stating that particular treatment issues may make it reasonable to accept some requests. Some feel that declining requests from clients can be perceived as a rejection. Choices on how to manage this may also be influenced strongly by theoretical orientation, age, and cultural contexts. My belief has always been that adding clients as contacts is a big enough threat to both confidentiality and the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship to justify a blanket policy of not accepting such requests.”

The 21st century is only getting under way, and social networking services are still only approaching warp speed. If you are using – or considering using – Facebook or other social networking systems in conjunction with your professional activities, you will need to go much farther with your education than simply reading the ideas discussed in this article.

If you would like to read this entire article and receive two hours of continuing education credit, visit Professional Development Resources at https://www.pdresources.org/course/index/6/1147/Ethics-and-Social-Media

 

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