The advances in telecommunication services and social media made tremendous changes in our lives and made almost all kinds of social activities easier. And it is true, the Internet is not the best advisor for a health diagnosis, but online platforms are now used for psychotherapies. Traditionally, counselors have provided their services through face-to-face sessions. The competition on social media is only rising. Suppose you wish to get a quick boost for commercial or individual profiles. In that case, you can use assistance tools such as SocialWick, which offers proficient help with online performance for affordable prices.
Counseling is a form of relationship between a psychological counselor and an individual who seeks help to achieve his or her career, relationship, or mental health goals. Both parties have spectacular rights and responsibilities towards each other. Different codes of ethics regulate relationships between them. Ethical codes and standardized principles are guidelines for professional behavior and responsibility. These guidelines operate as a framework by which professional judgments and procedures are incorporated. Psychotherapists also assist marketing professionals in implementing old school marketing methods and data collection.
In some respects, codes of ethics and law represent the consciousness and ways of thinking of a society. However, ethics and ethical principles differ from law and constitution. Laws are born from social and political processes and mainly focus on avoiding harm to the community and imposing punishment. Ethics develop from universal moralistic principles, and appropriate behavior can be deduced from these principles. Morality focuses on achieving higher ideals of human thinking and behavior. For example, according to the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) code of ethics, a client has the following rights:
- Autonomy – to free and independently choose a professional psychologist who will meet his or her requirements. To have access to information about a counselor. To get familiar with the code of ethics which the counselor will follow. And demand detailed information about services, procedures, counseling techniques and strategies, schedules, and billing policies.
- Non-maleficence – a principle of not harming other people, according to which one must not intentionally harm others or take actions that have a probability of damaging them.
- Beneficence – is the client’s right to receive a contribution from a counselor, which will support their mental well-being, help achieve goals, evaluate outcomes, and draw further steps.
- Justice – this factor does not mean treating all clients equally in the frame of set standards. Still, in treating a client differently, a psychologist must have empirical data and a rational explanation.
- Fidelity – implies mutual trust. A client should be honest and confidently share information with a counselor. On the other hand, the counselor should take care of the information and not use (or threaten to use it) detrimental to the client.
Psychologists have a fundamental responsibility of keeping the obtained information safe. Without informed consent, counselors have no right to disclose confidential data (the cases mandated by-laws are exceptions). Ethical dilemmas make it complicated to implement ethical principles in practice. A counselor has a “duty to protect” and a “duty to warn,” which sometimes may contradict the basic ethical principles such as confidentiality and privacy. A counselor’s moral responsibility is to protect the client’s rights and promote his or her welfare.
Meanwhile, counselors’ ethical obligation to protect confidentiality does not allow them to disobey a court order to disclose information relevant to legal demands. Counselors are also ethically obligated to consider the best interests and safety of society. The duty to warn refers to a counselor’s responsibility to warn identifiable victims. The commitment to protect is a counselor’s obligation to reveal confidential information if the counselor has a rational reason to believe that a third party may be harmed.
One primary responsibility of a counselor is to protect the client’s rights. Thus, it is essential to get informed consent – which is permission from a client before starting the counseling process. A patient has a right to receive information interpreted and explained in understandable language about future procedures and ethics codes. To give informed consent, an individual must have the intellectual ability and judgment to analyze relevant facts. For people, who are incapable of providing informed consent, counselors try to deliver more corresponding explanations or get substitute approval from another person legally authorized to consent on behalf of the client. Two of the most fundamental rights of a client are privacy and confidentiality. However, online counseling makes it more complicated to follow ethical codes. For example, a counselor can send the terms of an agreement to a client online, and the client can give consent, but it isn’t easy to understand for a counselor if it is informed. The client might not understand all the risks and conditions or even avoid reading it and agree anyway. It is easier for psychologists to understand clients’ behavior and body language in face-to-face conversation and provide the information corresponding to their intellectual abilities.