Normally I finish writing this column at least two weeks before the deadline for submission, which gives me time to reflect on what’s been written and then get it in ahead of time. This time, while I will meet the deadline, it will be a tight run thing! The reason – a virus. No, not a virus in my computer, but one in my body. Nearly four weeks ago, I succumbed to a horrid virus, which apart from manifesting in a cold, a cough and nausea, rendered me incredibly weak. I am usually an extremely healthy person, so this was a new experience for me.
You may wonder why I am telling you this – what has it got to do with online supervision? Well, it raised all sorts of ethical dilemmas for me. If I had been working f2f, I would have cancelled supervision, as to sit with supervisees while snuffling and choking away would have been extremely distracting for them (and me) and also I would have been worried about infecting them. It didn’t feel such a straightforward decision with my online work. Was I well enough to answer emails? I was certainly able to read them, and felt that I could make my responses professionally and with the same degree of awareness as normal. But was I deluding myself? Was I in a place to be able to make that judgement soundly? At one point my temperature was 103.5, and I am told that at 104, you start hallucinating! How near to that was I?
This article first appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the CyberSupervision Ethics and Viruses article.
Anne Stokes is based in Hampshire, UK, and is a well-known online therapist, supervisor and trainer and Director of Online Training Ltd. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access TILT Magazine archives: http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs