Is Online Counseling Ethical?

Life CoachingYes! Ethical codes for online counseling have been written by the American Counseling Association (ACA), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), and others (Peterson & Beck, 2003; Elleven & Allen, 2003; AMHCA, 2000; Childress, 2000; Barak, 1999; APA, 1997; NBCC, 2001; ACA, 1999; ISMHO, 2001; AMIA, 2003).

In addition to ethical codes, several organizations are providing training for the aspiring distance counselor. The NBCC (2001) accredits a continuing education and certification course called the “Distance Counseling Credential” (DCC). In addition, academic institutions including the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology have introduced programs that incorporate training psychologists in ‘telehealth’ and mental health guidance online.