Digital Ethics and Social Networking in Psychotherapy and Counseling

Presented by Ofer Zur, PhD on 03-11-2011 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

This presentation will review cutting-edge clinical and ethical complexities that clinicians face in the 21st century. It will review how the Internet and computers have affected the way therapists and clients interact and get informed about each other. It will cover issues such as online transparency, clients Googling therapists, emails and texting between therapists and clients, therapists Googling clients, ways to respond to clients' friend requests on Facebook, and much more. It will also review the evolving standard of care issues and provide guidelines for office policies, informed consent, and ethical ways of record keeping for e-mails, texts, and social networking communications. The course will also explore the digital divide between older therapists (aka "digital immigrants") and younger clients (aka "digital natives") as well as between older and younger therapists and parents and children.

Outline of web conference:

  • Psychology of the Web and the Digital Divide
  • Effect of modern technologies on psychotherapy and counseling
  • Online transparency: clients Googling therapists
  • Therapists Googling clients: Is it ethical?
  • Use of e-mail in psychotherapy
  • Use of texting in psychotherapy
  • Clients who text during sessions
  • Therapists who text during sessions
  • Record keeping of e-mail and texts
  • Standard of care and digital ethics
  • How to respond to friend requests from clients on Facebook
  • Social networking and online marketing

This web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. List the basic elements of digital ethics;
  2. Describe ever-increasing online transparencies;
  3. Review the impact of technology on psychotherapy;
  4. Explain ways to ethically respond to clients' friend requests on social networking sites.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. solely is responsible for all aspects of the program., 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.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

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If the event is canceled by GoodTherapy, registrants who purchased the event will be notified and the charge for the event will be refunded

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Meet the Presenter

Ofer Zur, PhD

Ofer Zur, PhD

Ofer Zur, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and forensic consultant practicing in Sonoma, CA and a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Div. 42. He is the director of the Zur Institute, which offers over 100 online courses and is one of the most extensive online CE programs for psychologists, counselors, social workers, MFTs, and nurses. His teaching, therapist consultations, and writings focus on private practice outside managed care, ethics, standards of care, boundaries, dual relationships, and Internet addiction. His books include Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy (Springer, 2002, co-edited with A. Lazarus), HIPPA Friendly (Norton, 2005), Private Practice Handbook (ZI, 2007), and Boundaries in Psychotherapy (APA Books, 2007).

Dr. Zur is deeply concerned about the harm inflicted by dogmatic, inflexible, and ideologically rigid psychotherapeutic practices. His website provides dozens of free articles and guidelines for psychotherapists and the public.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • Logo 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. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC 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 #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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