Guidelines for the Uses of Technology in Counselling & Psychotherapy

There has been an explosive growth of technology in recent years and an equal growth in the use of technology in counselling and psychotherapy. New technological applications for counselling and psychotherapy appear regularly. Practitioners require vigilance and resilience to navigate the risks and opportunities in his digital landscape. It is not always easy to see how to apply the CCPA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice1 to new devices or new operating systems or new apps or new versions of apps.

Counsellors and psychotherapists have differing levels of comfort when it comes to technology. Some practitioners are enthusiasts who embrace every new form of technology. Others are more hesitant, or maybe even reluctant, to use any form of technology at all. No matter what level of comfort we have, or how much or how little we use technology in our practices, we need to learn how to use it wisely.

These Guidelines provide concrete suggestions for making the best use of technology while protecting our clients and ourselves. The aim is to support and affirm professional practice in our technology-saturated world by providing tools to be resilient practitioners. After all, “the Internet is here to stay, and we need to change and adapt, developing resilience as practitioners in our relationship with the digital world”.

TISC Guidelines

Checklist for Choosing Technology

Basic Technological Competencies

Guidelines References

**The TIS Chapter presented a webinar regarding the new Guidelines. Access it here!

Our Mission

We envision inspiring the legal and ethical use of technology to enhance the therapeutic experience of counsellors and clients everywhere.

We aim to provide opportunities for Chapter members to meet, discuss, and share ideas and concerns of interest and provide a forum for critical discussion of issues of interest to members. We hope that this facilitates the ongoing exchange of information among members and provides a means by which members can help one another develop their use of technology in their professional practices and in their daily life and to share this information with others from an informed perspective.

TISC: A History

For a number of years, Lawrence Murphy and Dan Mitchell had contemplated the need for a new chapter in the CCPA — a chapter to support members in the emerging field of online counselling. At the May 2014 conference in Victoria, BC, they took the first step of asking fellow members to sign up on a handwritten paper to show their interest. About 20 people signed up. That was followed up by an email to the entire CCPA membership, and in record time we had enough member interest to form a chapter. Inaugural leadership included:

Dan Mitchell
Maria Chiru
Michael Hejazi
Constance Lynn Hummel
PC Leong
Josh Lockhart
Lawrence Murphy
Linda Rombough
Shawn Smith

The inaugural AGM was held in May 2015 at the conference in Niagara Falls.

Linda Rombough

Linda Rombough

Linda Rombough is currently completing her Masters degree in Counselling at Ottawa University, and works as a student counsellor at OCISO (Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization) where she provides individual counselling using CBT, EFT, and mindfulness, and delivers youth group programs for kids at risk.  She also works as a certified Child Meditation Facilitator, and a FRIENDS for Life anxiety prevention and program Facilitator who works with children and youth in the Ottawa area.  Linda also works as consultant with the Federal Government in the area of child protection policy development.  She is the past Vice-President and Chair of the Youth Committee for the ADAO (Anxiety Disorder Association of Ontario), and past Secretary of ADAC (Anxiety Disorder Association of Canada).   As a certified SMT (Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching) instructor, Linda tutors children who struggle with dyslexia and other learning challenges while providing one-on-one coaching to parents in the area of advocacy, support, empowerment, coping strategies and adaptive technologies.  She draws on her technology skills and interest from her previous career as a web application developer, with a strong interest in artificial intelligence.

Sherry Law

Past President
Sherry Law

Sherry Law is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, a Registered Counselling Therapist, and president of the Technology and Innovative Solutions chapter of Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She was the interim treasurer for the Federation of Personal and Vocational Counselling of New Brunswick, and an attendant in CCPA’s first “Leaders of Tomorrow” program.

She works as a counsellor for a not-for-profit organization in Fredericton, NB, a consultant facilitating pre-employability programs for the provincial government (NB), and a career consultant for the Department of Social Development (NB).

Her interest in technology and passion for people drives her pursuit of integrating innovative technological solutions to the mental health community. She is currently researching independently into the therapeutic effects of virtual reality on adults in long term care and speaks often at professional conferences. She has developed an interest in crypto-currency and has helped mental health charities to set up donation funds and fundraising in the crypto-currency space.

Elise Meertens

Elise Meertens

Elise Meertens obtained her Masters of Counselling from Athabasca University in 2018 and her Bachelors of Arts and Science in Cognitive Science from McGill University in 2013. She currently spends her time at a community counselling agency in Kitchener, Ontario.

Elise is also the social media coordinator for the TISC and organizes the newsletters.

She has been interested in the impact of technology in counselling and how to engage the public in discussions of how to safely use technology in practice.

Dawn Schell

Dawn Schell

Dawn Schell has an MA in Counselling Psychology from Simon Fraser University.   Currently she works at the University of Victoria with the Student Mental Health Strategy   She  is also an Affiliate Counsellor with Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.  For the past ten years she has done online counselling, researched multiple venues of online counselling, designed a university online counselling system and  more recently regularly contributes to the CCPA blog.

Andrea Rivera

Communications Director
Andrea Rivera

Andrea Rivera is a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick pursuing a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology. Andrea has worked with culturally diverse groups as an ESL Coordinator and a Student Career Advisor by providing English language classes and helping refugees, immigrants and international students with a variety of issues ranging from career development to mental health concerns. Consequently, she is interested in counselling culturally diverse groups and she is keen to contribute to the development of online counselling services.

Lawrence Murphy

Director at Large
Lawrence Murphy

Lawrence Murphy co-founded Therapy Online with Dan Mitchell in 1994. He has delivered workshops on the topic of online counselling in Canada, the US and Australia and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. Lawrence has published widely in the field of online counselling and is the Dean of Training for Therapy Online’s courses. He obtained his Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1995 and holds an adjunct appointment in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto.

Constance Lynn Hummel

Director at Large
Constance Lynn Hummel

Constance has a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology from Adler University (formerly Adler School of Professional Psychology) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Victoria. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Canadian Certified Counsellor and Associate Power Coach with her own full-time private practice located in Vancouver, BC. Her counselling specialties include Relationships, Sex Therapy and Addictions, with specific expertise working with Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA).  Coaching specialities include business and career planning, effective communication, boundaries and assertiveness.
In addition to her clinical work, she founded The Business of Helping and provides strategic business consultation and training to therapists, counsellors and wellness professionals so they can build their own thriving private practices through the use of virtual and face-to-face strategy sessions, small group workshops and online training programs.

Linkedin Profile

Micheala Slipp

Director at Large
Micheala Slipp

Micheala is currently working towards a Doctor of Education in Distance Education at Athabasca University with a research focus in the delivery of distance clinical supervision to counsellors working in indigenous, rural, remote communities to mitigate the risk of compassion fatigue. Micheala holds a Masters degree in Creative Arts Therapies from Concordia University.  She is a professional Canadian Counsellor and Supervisor with the CCPA and is a registered Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Credentials Board.   Micheala is also a student of Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy program and is working towards SEP certification.

In addition to serving on the TISC board, Micheala runs a private practise in BC’s South Okanagan where she offers both in person and distance service to clients throughout the province:  Micheala specializes in cross-cultural counselling, art therapy and trauma therapy.  She is passionate about using innovative solutions to provide high quality service to rural and under-serviced areas.

Nick Clark

Director at Large
Nick Clark

Nick Clark RP,MC,CCC Nick completed his Undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill and it was there, working as an outreach worker for the sexual assault centre that he became interested in counselling. After traveling and teaching abroad, he returned to Canada to work in a variety of social service settings as a CYW and then a decade working passionately with students and their families as a high school counsellor. During this time he completed a Masters degree in Counselling Psychology at Athabasca University and completed an 18 month postgraduate clinical internship in couple and family therapy within a community agency. Nick has come to believe that the fit between client and counsellor is key and his final research during his Masters focused on the authentic use of humour in developing relationships with adolescent and high school clients in a therapeutic setting. He is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario (CRPO) and a Canadian Certified Counsellor (CCC) with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA). Nick currently runs his own private practice in London, Ontario, working with adolescents, adults and couples as well as continuing to offer services through local non-profits, service organizations and workplace intervention agencies.

Serge Hall

Board Liaison

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Social Media

We are on Facebook! Every week, we post an article highlighting the challenges, benefits, and considerations for technology use in practice or with regards to mental health. Like our page and join the conversation!


Technology is a rapidly changing field and, as technology becomes more accessible and widely used by counsellors across Canada, there are many questions that arise. Some of these questions may not even be considered by those who use technology in practice, and some of the answers may surprise you. This new “Dear TISCA” (aka Technology and Innovative Solutions Advisor) section of our quarterly newsletter aims to provide guidance on some of those queries you may have regarding your use of technology in practice and where to find the answers you need to practice ethically. Send your questions to [email protected]. There are no dumb questions!

Constitution and By-laws

The Chapter’s bylaws* are a set of rules that control the actions of its members and govern the internal management of the Chapter.

*Please note that this constitution and Bylaws were accepted by the membership as of the May 20, 2015 AGM.  Minor amendments will be forthcoming.
**Last revised May 11, 2018.


Coming soon: The Guidelines are almost complete! With the Guidelines comes resources, references, and knowledge that we have built over the last couple of years. This is a fluid document with new resources added regularly. If you have any resources that you believe would be helpful to others, please send them to [email protected].

Chapters for reconciliation

The TISC has recently been invited to participate in the CCPA’s “Chapters for Reconciliation” initiative. What this means to us at the TISC is a concerted effort of CCPA’s leaders, practitioners, and students across Canada to work towards meaningful and participatory engagement in support of reconciliation. For more information about reconciliation, please refer to

” … It is important to recognize that reconciliation is an evolving process of inclusion, discussion, reflection, and openness. We at the TISC stand in solidarity with these efforts. One of the ways we suggest to do this is to Acknowledge First Peoples & Traditional Territory (and you can link this there “