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Online Counselling Security: Is it Secure and Confidential?

Dr. Joti Samra

October 31, 2019

Resiliency

Online Counselling Security: Is it Secure and Confidential?

Online counselling provides people with a unique opportunity to easily and efficiently access therapy sessions from the comfort of their own home. In some cases, it may encourage people to seek support who may not otherwise – because of a busy life and logistical demands. We talk more in-depth about the benefits of virtual therapy in another article. But here we are addressing the concerns of online counselling security and the big question – is online counselling secure and confidential?

Having a therapy session from the comfort of your own couch is appealing to many, it also brings up natural concerns around security. Security and confidentiality are both important aspects of therapy so it’s a good thing to be thinking about when considering virtual sessions. At Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych. & Associates, security and confidentiality are very important to us and here we will discuss how we approach these topics in our practice.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality, for anyone who has not previously been to therapy, is a critical aspect of the therapeutic relationship. Best practice and ethical guidelines for psychologists and counsellors are very clear that information between a client and a therapist cannot be shared with anyone, barring any concerns of safety or acute risk.

Confidentiality is an important part of therapy as it ensures people are comfortable sharing personal details about their lives without fear of that information being shared elsewhere.

Before starting therapy, the therapist ensures the client understands what confidentiality means, as well as what the limits to confidentiality are and an informed consent form is signed.

Just because virtual counselling services are conducted online does not mean they cannot be held to the same standards. We are committed to protecting our patients’ privacy and ensuring that our telehealth services meet the standards for psychological health services via telecommunications, as set out by the Canadian Psychological Association. This includes ensuring that information is kept confidential and that clients fully understand and provide informed consent to treatment.

Online Counselling Security

When it comes to online services it’s impossible to completely mitigate security risk, but it’s important everyone understands the risks before making a choice.

We utilize encrypted secure platforms for the storage of all clinical and identifying information (client’s name, personal information, and clinical charts). We are happy to ensure our clients are comfortable with the process and welcome any questions or concerns about how we approach security.

Are you ready to book your online therapy session? If so, get it touch! We’re also happy to provide more information if you have any questions.

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