n South African Journal of Psychology - Towards new ethics guidelines : the ethics of online therapy in South Africa - research

Volume 49 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0081-2463
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The burgeoning increase in Internet access and use in South Africa and globally has opened a new doorway for provision of mental health services online. This descriptive study focuses specifically on psychotherapeutic services provided by South African psychologists. Draft guidelines for online therapy were developed and a sample of South African registered psychologists was asked to review, rate, and comment on the draft guidelines via an online survey. The sample also identified key ethical dilemmas arising from the novel use of this modality in South Africa. The draft guidelines were positively appraised by the majority of participants supporting the value of such guidelines in South Africa. Key ethical dilemmas identified included confidentiality, competence, boundaries, technological limitations, emergency situations, nature of therapeutic process, security of records, payment, and verification of identity.

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