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Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace. Keely Kolmes, Psy.D., Private Practice Daniel Taube, J.D., Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University .

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Findings on therapist client interactions on the internet boundary considerations in cyberspace

Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace

Keely Kolmes, Psy.D., Private Practice

Daniel Taube, J.D., Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University


Findings on therapist client interactions on the internet boundary considerations in cyberspace

These are the major findings from our study. We will be writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

Please see the last slide for author contact information.

Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


Recruitment
Recruitment writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

  • Participants: N = 227

  • Age range: 23 - 80

  • Biological Sex:

    • 74% female

    • 26% male

    • 0.4% genderqueer

  • Sexual orientation:

    • 78% heterosexual

    • 8% bisexual

    • 8% lesbian

    • 6% gay

    • 2% queer

    • Recruitment method:

      • Internet-based convenience sample

    • Inclusion criteria:

      • Have been a provider of psychotherapy services

      • Utilize the Internet

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Demographic information
    Demographic Information writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

    • 89% were Caucasian, 3% were African American, 3% were Latino/Hispanic, 3% were bi-racial, 2 percent were Asian American, 2% were Native American, and 3% described themselves as “other.”

    • 90% were people without disabilities, and 10% had visual, orthopedic, auditory, cognitive or other disabilities.

    • The largest group (47%) earned between $30,000 and $70,000 per year. 12% earned less than $30,000, and 21% earned more than $70,000.

    • Participants were from 15 states within the US; 44% resided in California, and 7% resided outside of the United States.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Services training and licensure
    Services, training and licensure writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

    • 93% were currently providing therapy services.

    • 32% were in training: the bulk (68%) were not.

    • For those in training, 68% were seeking a doctoral degree in psychology, 17% a marriage and family therapy degree, and 13% counseling or other degrees. Only 1% were clinical social workers.

    • 64% were licensed, with most (59%) holding psychology, professional counselor (16%), clinical social work (12%) or marriage and family therapy licenses (10%). Two percent were psychiatrists.

    • 58% were providing online or e-therapy services, though most were providing such services for 5 hours or less per week (82%).

    • 79% had provided online services to a total of 10 or fewer clients. Some 11% had provided online services to 36 or more clients.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Predominant theoretical orientation
    Predominant theoretical orientation writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Discovery of current client information on the internet
    Discovery of current client information on the Internet writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

    • 28% of therapists accidentally discovered information about current clients. The rest did not.

    • 48% of therapists intentionally sought information on current clients in non-crisis situations, without client awareness.

    • 47% discussed in treatment the client information they found on the internet--whether intentionally or accidentally.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Sites on which discovery was made
    Sites on which Discovery was Made writing up an article that we hope to publish in which we will go into greater detail.

    Accidental discovery of current clients (participants could choose more than one site):70% found information on Facebook, 19% on Google, 14% on LinkedIn, 11% on Shared email lists, 11% on Blogs, 6% on Twitter, 3% on Dating sites, 3% on MySpace, and 6% on Other sites.

    Intentional Discovery of current clients (participants could choose more than one site):76% found information on Google, 40% on Facebook, 8% on LInkedIn, 2% on a Blog, 2% on Dating Sites, 2% on Twitter, 1% on Yelp, and 14% on Other Sites.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Findings on therapist client interactions on the internet boundary considerations in cyberspace

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Crisis situations
    Crisis situations: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace

    • 8% of these clinicians intentionally searched for information about current clients on the Internet in a crisis situation.

    • Of those clinicians, 53% found information that was useful in resolving the crisis.

      (Examples included contact information, incarceration status, address for safety check by police, suicidal intent expressed on Facebook.)

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Discovering information about a terminated client on the internet
    Discovering information about a terminated client on the Internet

    • 23% accidentally found such information

    • 24% intentionally sought such information

    When intentionally seeking information about terminated clients, clinicians looked for such things as arrests, accidents, death, criminal history, outcome of legal action, accomplishments, whether clients reached life goals, general updates and well-being.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Clients finding therapist information on the internet
    Clients finding therapist information on the Internet Internet

    • 28% of clinicians in this sample had a client find information about them on the internet.

    • 49% had a client request that they visit a client blog or social networking page on the web.

    • 63% of those clinicians honored that request.

    • 23% had had clients “fan,” “friend” or “follow” them.

    • Of those clinicians, 53% discussed that contact in treatment.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Findings on therapist client interactions on the internet boundary considerations in cyberspace

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Purpose of client requests for therapist to visit their site
    Purpose of Client requests for Therapist to Visit Their Site Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace

    • Client wanted therapist to view artwork, writing, or other personal information on a site.

    • Client wanted therapist to read feelings expressed on a blog.

    • Client wanted therapist to better know client as a full and complete person.

    • Client wanted therapist to see client’s family/friends.

    • Client wanted therapist to provide feedback on a public interaction.

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace


    Findings on therapist client interactions on the internet boundary considerations in cyberspace

    Thank you so much for participating in our research and for visiting our site for results. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

    Keely Kolmes, Psy.D. can be reached at drkkolmes@hushmail.com

    Results: http://www.drkkolmes.com/research

    Dan Taube, J.D., Ph.D., can be reached at dtaube@alliant.edu

    Results: http://www.snurl.com/n64nv

    Findings on Therapist-Client Interactions on the Internet: Boundary Considerations in Cyberspace