Distance delivery of mental health services is becoming a norm in the field of mental health (Shallcross, 2012), and the American Counseling Association (ACA, 2005), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC, 1997, 2009, 2013), and the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE, 2011) have all recognized the need for ethical guidance. NBCC (2013) recognizes that distance services, including distance supervision, create unique ethical challenges. State counseling boards and other credentialing organizations are also beginning to recognize the need for distance clinical supervision as a means for providing access to qualified clinical supervisors who can support practitioners providing traditional and distance mental health services.
In 2010, McAdams and Wyatt found that 14 states had regulations regarding distance counseling, six states had regulations regarding distance supervision, and many others had regulations in development. As Orr (2010) noted, good supervision should be dependent on the quality of the skills of the supervisor, not upon proximity to the supervisee. Bernard and Goodyear (2004) note that supervision is a process whereby a counselor with less experience learns how to better provide services with the guidance of a counselor with more experience and skill. Supervision is distinct from teaching in that the curriculum is individually determined by the supervisees and their clients.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Ethical Framework for the Use of Technology in Supervision article.
Loriann Stretch, is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor, a National Certified Counselor and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She is nearing the completion of her national credential as a Registered Play Therapist and a Distance Credentialed Counselor. She is based in Clayton, NC.
DeeAnna Nagel and Kate Anthony are co-CEO’s of the Online Therapy Institute and the Online Coach Institute, and co-Managing Editors of TILT Magazine. They are based in Highlands, NJ and Scotland, UK respectively.
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