2014 American Counseling Association Code of Ethics versus HIPAA: Technology in Counseling and Mental Health

Presented by Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC and Rob Reinhardt, MEd, LPCS, NCC on 10-10-2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific

The American Counseling Association (ACA) released its new technology-heavy Code of Ethics in March of 2014, adding a whole section entirely on the topics of distance counseling, electronic record keeping, and using digital and networked technology in general practice. In the process, the ACA has entered new territory in providing guidance on how their member clinicians are expected to work with digital technology. We expect that other professions will follow suit in their own ways over the next several years.

The various authors of the HIPAA and HITECH laws apparently had some different goals in mind when compared to the 2014 ACA Ethics Revision Task Force. In this program, we will explore what parts of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics’ approach to technology are new and may require new action on the part of counselors, what parts simply reaffirm existing standards, and how it all interacts with HIPAA and other regulatory rules and professional guidance on digital technology in American mental health.

We will also provide our guidance on how these changes affect the way we currently use digital technology here and now. We will cover applications of the new code to email, texting, online video (e.g. programs like Skype), keeping records electronically, Electronic Health Records, and more.

This program’s educational information is based on research into expert opinions on the HIPAA law, interviews with government officials, interviews with an ACA Ethics Revision Task Force member, and the professional experience and expertise of the presenters. Some of the interpretations presented are original work of the presenters and some are based on opinions and interpretations from other experts.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Describe how the philosophical approach of HIPAA’s Security Rule differs from and is similar to the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics’ Section H;
  2. Create an Electronic Record-Keeping Disclosure statement that meets the ACA Code of Ethics’ requirements;
  3. Maintain client autonomy around confidentiality and security of digital communications technology in ways that fit with the security requirements of the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics;
  4. Describe what the 2014 ACA Code of Ethics requires for counselors who engage in distance counseling services.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

This event will include lecture and question-and-answer periods. A recording of the web conference will be available to members in GoodTherapy.org's Continuing Education Archives within two weeks. After the live event, a written transcript of the event will be available in the Member's Area. Members of GoodTherapy.org can receive continuing education credits for attending this event by logging in to the GoodTherapy.org Member's Area.

388CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy.org is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. GoodTherapy.org solely is responsible for all aspects of the program.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Event Reviews from Members

"I think both Rob and Roy have excellent resources and scope of knowledge about security and privacy, so I was happy to see them present a workshop for GoodTherapy.org." - Kristen Martinez, MEd, EdS, LMHCA, NC

"Thank you for your willingness and passion to provide the information necessary for mental health therapist to stay up to date and navigate through today's challenges in the social media age. I am so not a technical person and often need professionals that are sensitive to the field and have a passion for what we do to assist in keeping things ethical and legal." - Julie Ingber, LMHC, NBCC

Meet the Presenters

Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC

Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC

Roy Huggins, LPC, NCC has a private practice in Portland, Oregon, where he is also the Director for Person-Centered Tech. Roy has a passion for teaching therapists about the Internet and enjoys helping them understand how electronic communication is the future of their practice and profession.

Roy sits on the board for the Zur Institute, and he is a member of the Counselor Education Department at the Portland State University. He regularly teaches mental health professionals on the ethical standards in the world of technology.

Roy offers a webinar series every month on Digital Confidentiality which covers not only the "what we must do" parts of HIPAA and professional ethics but also the "what we can do" parts. His website is also replete with free articles and resources for using digital technology in professional mental health practice. Find it all at www.personcenteredtech.com.

Rob Reinhardt, MEd, LPCS, NCC

Rob Reinhardt, MEd, LPCS, NCC

Rob is a Clinical Supervisor in North Carolina for professional counselors. He is a Nationally Certified Counselor and the CEO of the private consulting firm Tame Your Practice where he helps mental health therapists promote their practices. He specializes in using technology efficiently while complying with the current requirements and guidelines. He is an editor for the American Counseling Association magazine for the "Tech Tutor" column.

Rob, with co-author Nancy Wheeler, also recently published Private Practice Preparedness: The Health Care Professional's Guide to Closing a Practice Due to Retirement, Death, or Disability. This eBook includes downloadable templates that help health care professionals fulfill ethics code obligations.

He enjoys playing board games, ultimate Frisbee, traveling and time with his family. For more information on Rob and his work, please visit http://www.tameyourpractice.com

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA approval applies to all events listed after May 2011.
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    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
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    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
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    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.