The Nature of E-Counseling
While E-Counseling is a convenient way to continue a counseling relationship long distance, it is not without its drawbacks and risks.
Preserving privacy is one of the biggest challenges to the on line alternative. No matter how many security precautions you or your counselor may take, data on hard drives or e-mail messages are vulnerable to hackers. Your family members may stumble across or overhear sensitive information about you.
Due to many hours in session, your counselor cannot always answer every e-mail, and sometimes cannot get back to you until the next day.
Standards of care cannot be assured when considering that technical difficulties can erode the quality and continuity of care. Technical glitches and computer crashes can further complicate the process. Phone and cable lines go down. E-mail messages can get lost in cyberspace.
Other drawbacks include the fact that written communication is often not as clear as face to face commun-ication. Non verbal cues such as tone of voice, body language, and pauses are a disadvantage to the counselor’s ability to correctly assess your mental, spiritual, and emotional state.
If you understand the risks and drawbacks of e-counseling and still wish to enter into such an arrangement with Shepherd of the Valley Community Resource Center, please sign and return the following agreement. Once it is received, your counselor will contact you to set up a schedule for resuming your “sessions”.
E-Counseling Agreement Form
After careful consideration, in full acknowledgment of these risks and drawbacks,I agree to an E-Counseling arrangement with Shepherd of the Valley Community Resource Center, 79 East Mennonite Road, Aurora, Ohio 44202.
Due to the long distance nature of this relationship, I will provide the contact information for local police, mental health provider(s), church, and medical providers in my area in case of emergency.
I understand that the fee for E-Counseling is $60.00 per session, whether by e-mail or a rare phone session. The fee is to be paid consistently, with no more than 2 weeks unpaid. Counseling will be resumed after the late payment has been received. This is to protect the counselee from incurring debt and helps us to stay current with our expenses.
It is agreed that the counselee has the right to end the arrangement at any time, and a notice will be given to the counselor that the time for termination has come.
A referral will be given, according to the information supplied to the counselor at the initiation of this agreement.
SIGNATURE OF COUNSELEE DATE
Please return this agreement to:
Susan Carlton, PhDc, BCBC
Shepherd of the Valley Community Resource Center
First Baptist Church, 79 East Mennonite Road, Aurora, Ohio 44202