Below is an extract of a blog from Catherine Knibbs on internet use, social media and devices and the ethical questions that arise from counsellors in the therapeutic space.
There are many approaches and guidelines around how to use equipment you find in the kitchen. Call them directions, user guides or instructions, aka destructions in my household as no one ever reads them. Therein lies the problem…#skimming or #ignoring or #doesntapplytome (I’m using hashtags # to highlight the fact that this can be trend/pattern.
So if there was indeed a user guide for cyberspace would you ignore it? Skim over it? Throw it in the bin or digest every ounce of the contents? Did you know a document such as this actually exists for counsellors and psychotherapists and has done for a while?
That’s the one. Have you read it? What do you think about it, what are your reflections and what rights do you think you have for using your social media accounts as you see fit? What do you think about your clients and their social media usage?
Do you have rights? Do your clients? What might these be? What do you expect from the sites and applications (programs) that you use when it comes to privacy, harassment, location services and your right to express yourself as a human being on the Internet?
Ethical dilemma after ethical dilemma right?
What about the question that can often go unnoticed… What happens about your past or your opinions of today becoming your future? (or future past for that matter)
What effect will this have on you or your clients?
I have deliberately put questions forward in this article to get you thinking. Please feel free to feedback and let’s open this up for debate, I’m sure you will be surprised at both your response and others too. (I should also insert a comment about trolling and respect for each other, however the point is exactly that- – you never know the response that will occur after posting).
Now onto working with clients who bring technology into the room, again what rights do you have a counsellor to insist that the device is turned off or not brought into your room? Why would this be ethical or unethical? Do you know about geolocation and tagging? (go and google these terms if you’re not sure)
Would this have an effect on your practice? Do you have a right to have your device in the room?
What about access to the Internet? What about the content a client may show you that is on their phone? (Think #sexting and #underageconsent). Do you know enough about the internet to know what apps are safe, underage, ethical, secret or indeed coercive?
Read the rest of Catherine’s blog on her website www.cybertrauma.com
Catherine will be discussing these questions and more at the Cybertrauma training on Wednesday 8th March.