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 Practice 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”.
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:
Constance Lynn Hummel
The inaugural AGM was held in May 2015 at the conference in Niagara Falls.
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.
Andrea Rivera is a graduate student at the University of New Brunswick pursuing a Masters of Education in Counselling Psychology. In the past, Andrea has worked with culturally diverse groups as an ESL Coordinator and a Student Career Advisor. She provided English language classes and helped refugees, immigrants and international students with a variety of issues ranging from career development to mental health concerns. She is interested in counselling culturally diverse groups and she is keen to contribute to the research and development of online counselling services.
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.
Sherry Law is a Canadian Certified Counsellor, a Licensed Counselling Therapist, and past-president of the Technology and Innovative Solutions chapter of Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Sherry also sits on the board of the New Brunswick Career Development Agency as a director.
She works as a counselling therapist in Fredericton, NB in collaboration with the Government of New Brunswick. Her interest in technology and passion for people drives her pursuit of integrating innovative technological solutions for mental health and wellness in aging. She is researching independently into the therapeutic effects of virtual reality on adults in long-term care and has co-founded a company, Innerva Virtual Inc., with her research findings.
Elise Meertens received her Master of Counselling in Counselling Psychology from Athabasca University in 2018. She is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. She is based in Toronto, Ontario.
Elise is also the Social Media and Volunteer Coordinator for the TIS Chapter. Reach her on LinkedIn.
Michèle Mani M.Ed., RP, is a Registered Psychotherapist with over 18 years’ experience providing and supervising (asynchronous and synchronous) online counselling. Her key area of focus is supporting counsellors’ skill and competency development to deliver online, digital counselling. Employing a variety of clinical models, Michèle’s core approach draws upon counsellors’ and clients’ essential strengths and capacities. She is chapter co-author: “Supervising the delivery of online counselling services in an employee and family assistance program, (EFAP) setting” in the book: Technology in Mental Health: Applications in practice, supervision and training (2nd ed., 2016).
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. www.ConstanceLynn.com
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. www.TheBusinessOfHelping.com
Lawrence Murphy is the founder of Worldwide Therapy Online, the world’s first online clinical practice, established in 1994. In 1998 he co-authored the first ethical code for online counselling. Mr. Murphy and his colleagues publish regularly in the academic literature, including their seminal 1998 work When Writing Helps to Heal: Email as Therapy, which has been cited more than 350 times. Therapy Online delivers two levels of training in cybercounselling and licenses online therapy. Since the pandemic began, Mr. Murphy has delivered more than 90 half-day trainings to a total of more than 10,000 mental health professionals across Canada.
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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.
Chapter Meeting Minutes
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 http://www.trc.ca/
” … 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 https://www.caut.ca/content/guide-acknowledging-first-peoples-traditional-territory) “