NP0009 Handling Today's Hidden Ethical Dilemmas

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0009 Handling Today's Hidden Ethical Dilemmas.

NP0009, Ethics, Session 2, Ofer Zur


How has digital technology changed the ethical challenges practitioners face in the consulting room? Join psychologist Ofer Zur in this practical discussion of the new ethical trials that exist due to new technologies such as email, social media platforms, the Internet, cell phones, and more. Zur will break down the new issues and provide suggestions as to what therapists should do in order to best handle these ethical quandaries.

After the session, please take a few minutes to engage in the Comment Board and let us know what you thought. What did Zur bring up that was new to you? Do you think there are any other ethical dilemmas brought up by new technologies that weren’t mentioned in this presentation? Do you have any specific questions for Zur or for your peers?

We invite you to share your thoughts, questions, and revelations, as well as including your name and hometown with your comments. If you have any technical questions, please feel free to contact support@psychotherapynetworker.org. Thanks for your participation.


09.08.2011   Posted In: NP0009 Handling Today's Hidden Ethical Dilemmas   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • 0 avatar VeLora Lilly 09.13.2011 13:09
    VeLora Lilly,San Francisco,
    I would like specific information about conducting therapy via Skype with clients who are out of the state or country where I practice:legal issues as well as ethics.
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.13.2011 14:07
      Dear VeLora:
      You can find info about Skype at http://www.zurinstitute.com/telehealth_skype.html and on across state lines at http://www.zurinstitute.com/telehealthresources.html#statelines and http://www.zurinstitute.com/telehealth_across_state_lines.html
  • Not available avatar Alan Lawrence, LCSW 09.13.2011 13:15
    I just finished listening to the second session and so far I find the material very informative and the speakers sophisticated and easy to understand. Better than reading some
    dry material or having to travel and sit all day long listening
    to speakers. Although that can be refreshing occasionally.
    I prefer to listen to you guys in the comfort of my office or home. Good-luck in your series!
    Alan Lawrence, LCSW, BCD
    Rancho Mirage, CA
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.13.2011 14:10
      Dear Alan:
      You can find many relevant articles and free resources at http://www.zurinstitute.com/articles.html#boundariesemail
  • -0.1 avatar Dale Blumen 09.13.2011 13:15
    Thank you for a presentation that offers an anthropological lens of compassionate curiosity/understanding for therapists to use while considering digital as well as other ethical issues. I will be tweaking my informed consent and office policy as a result of watching this webinar. I am a digital "immigrant." During our last storm, we lost electricity in our state and land lines were non-functional, as well. Because of the long lead-in time, I heeded advice and added texting to my smart phone (also got a very quick lesson from one of my adult children on how to use it!). What I realized in trying to communicate with clients re: appts after the storm had passed, was that I hadn't routinely obtained cell phone numbers from everyone - and I didn't know who had text capacity. While it all worked out, my "lesson learned" was that this digital information is now be part of my routine intake, my informed consent and my office policy. Newport, RI
  • 0 avatar Tina Denison 09.13.2011 13:16
    To my surprise, following Session 1, I could not wait to attend the next ethics webinar. I would not have thought that possible. Zur's specifics on dual relationships, Internet office policies and statements, and dealing with digital native clients clarified issues I have been ruminating about since I set forth from graduate school. I particularly appreciated his insights and comments about the "Dont-don't-don't" reactions from more rigid interpreters of standards. Ethics are a combination of facts, knowledge, experiential knowledge- but most important, the careful continuing considerations of the Wise Mind. Tina LeMarque-Denison, MA, MSW, LMSW, Tucson, Arizona
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.13.2011 14:12
      Dear Tina:
      You can find tons of free resources on dual relationships and how to approach them without fear but with care and humanity at http://www.zurinstitute.com/articles.html#dualsub
    • 0 avatar Kathy Metcalf 09.18.2011 17:49
      I couldn't agree more Tina. I came from a Psychodrama background where touch, dual relationships and personal sharing is part of the training and protocol. I found Dr. Zur's point of view refreshing. I've always used a balance of clinical knowledge and human hearted wisdom to deal with ethical issues. I so appreciate someone speaking to the grey areas we often find ourselves in.
      Kathy Metcalf, LCSW-C, TEP
      Baltimore, MD
  • 0 avatar carole webb 09.13.2011 13:19
    Thank you for the great insight into the digital native's world! As I think about myself as a babyboomer immigrant, I have a hunger to learn more! However, I also know a lot from my experience that the younger people could benefit from. How do we integrate the wisdom of the elder with the rapid movement of the digital native? As a supervisor of therapists, I wonder how to conduct a conversation about ethical practice that younger therapists will hear (I mean read!) Carole in TN
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.13.2011 14:13
      Dear Carole:
      The article that I wrote with my daughter on digital immigrants and digital natives is at http://www.zurinstitute.com/digital_divide.html
  • 0 avatar David Chervick 09.13.2011 13:27
    Ofer is know here in Northern California as the premier spokesman on keeping therapists safe. I was enjoying meeting him (digitally, personally) today. He really has an amazing ability to conceptualize the space within which psychotherapists work in 21st century! Really enjoying this valuable offering
  • 0 avatar Farnsworth Lobenstine 09.13.2011 13:33
    I really am enjoying this ethics course!
    It's so helpful to know that I'm a reluctant immigrant! Boy am I!My first assumption about the computer is always, I can't do this myself.
    I finally joined facebook to see pictures of my grandson. My very part-time assistant, under 30, helped me create a facebook page that has virtually nothing on it. I thought about it and agreed to be friends with a teenage client to better understand her and her world. She initiated the request. I need to learn to get beyond her wall of pictures of family and friends, or maybe that's all there is on her page.I certainly did not leave any messages.
    A 6th grader was eager to show me how computer animation and other videos that he made at computer camp. It was much more fun to have him guide me through it with stories than to watch it on my own.
    A teenage girl periodically shows me lots of pictures on her iphone during sessions, and she's taken me to youtube to silly videos she's posted.Again, it's on "company time" and interactive.
    What are others' experiences, especially with teenagers?
    FL, LICSW, Massachusetts
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.13.2011 14:16
      Dear Farnworth
      You can find more article and resources on digital ethics and related topics at http://www.zurinstitute.com/articles.html#boundariesemail
      Good luck
  • Not available avatar Rob Riddle 09.13.2011 18:48
    I have been a counsellor now for 42 years and semiretired. I am also chair of the Continuing Competency Committee for our professional organization and we will be instituting a Continuing Competency program in 2012. One of the requirements in the three year cycle we propose is that members must have some activity on Ethics. Your talk today and this course has given me even more ideas for how that might be implemented and the resources available to our clinical counsellors to achieve that requirement. Thanks you so much for this wealth of information and especially the challenges for the digital immigrants amongst us.
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.24.2011 17:12
      Dar Rob:
      i wonder if you can use our online program http://www.zurinstitute.com/homeonline.html to help you establish competency.
  • 0 avatar Cynthia McKenna 09.13.2011 20:48
    This was so refreshing. As someone who has been using digital media with my clients, it's great to have some feedback on how to be more effective. I am new to your work and appreciate your efforts to help be part of the positive change in psychotherapy.
    Cynthia McKenna
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.24.2011 17:14
      Dear Cynthia:
      Thanks for the kind words. You may want to check our extensive free Telehealth Resources listing at http://www.zurinstitute.com/telehealthresources.html and our Digital Ethics articles at http://www.zurinstitute.com/articles.html#boundariesemail . Good luck.
  • 0 avatar VeLora Lilly 09.13.2011 23:52
    VeLora Lilly, San Francisco
    THank you for your suggestions to my question. I have not been able to print out your slide notes from the session. It there another way to access them?
    • 0 avatar Psychotherapy Networker 09.14.2011 09:20
      Hi VeLora,

      You can access the PowerPoint slide presentation if you purchased the course by logging in to the website and finding the course under the Your Purchased Items tab. Then, you can click on the slides for this session and print them out that way. If you're having any issues logging in or accessing the slides, please feel free to contact support@psychotherapynetworker.org and they can assist you. Thanks for your comment and for your participation!
      -Psychotherapy Networker
  • 0 avatar Norene Gonsiewski 09.21.2011 17:40
    Norene Gonsiewski, Portland Oregon

    I really enjoyed this session immensely. Especially liked the warning to consider my automatic thoughts of "Unethical" when something is new to me. Much of the digital considerations do immediately evoke that response and I think that I have harshly judged some actions of others which may not be as bad as I initially thought. Loved Zur's sense of humor and humanity.
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.24.2011 17:18
      Thanks, Norene:
      I appreciate your self reflection and kind words.
  • 0 avatar Candi Kaatz 09.22.2011 00:36
    Candi Nashville
    I am challenged to be more aware of all the digital opportunities to connect with clients without being "old school."
    • Not available avatar Dr. Zur, Instructor 09.29.2011 20:07
      Dear Candi:
      I think my daughter's and mine article on digital immigrants and digital natives at http://www.zurinstitute.com/digital_divide.html may be helpful.
  • 0 avatar Kevin Mallory 12.12.2011 09:46
    I work with many teens and young adults, so I have had to wrestle with many of these ethical questions for some time, but Dr. Zur's thoughts on this subject were much more comprehensive than mine have been to date, and very helpful. I particularly valued his thougths on adding statements about email, texting, and social networkingn to my professional disclosure statement.
  • 0 avatar Mary Mirro 03.17.2012 10:49
    I am in the digital immigrant group and am moving toward using email, texting as a way of communicating with clients. I appreciate your perspective on these issues. I feel considerably more informed and willing to use this form of communication now. Thank you for the resources that include forms that can be given to clients regarding texting, emails and facebook.
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