• Website Compliance with Ethical Guidelines by Psychologists and Professional Counselors

      Yazvac III, Joseph (2009-08-26)
      There is currently very little research investigating the ethical practice of e-therapy, and none that distinguishes between types of therapists in terms of their compliance with ethical codes pertaining to e-therapy. The American Psychological Association does not have ethical standards specific to the provision of e-therapy but the American Counseling Association does. The purpose of this study was to assess differences in ethical compliance for e-therapy websites sponsored by psychologists and e-therapy websites sponsored by professional counselors. Specific ethics codes for the practice of e-therapy of the American Counseling Association were used to generate an assessment instrument, which served as the measure of ethical compliance for both groups. E-therapy websites primarily sponsored by psychologists or professional counselors were located by predetermined search terms through the Google search engine and then evaluated for compliance. A MANOVA was then conducted to analyze differences between the two groups on compliance with sections A.12.a., A.12.g., and A.12.h. of the American Counseling Association Ethics Code, as well as an aggregate total of all three. Professional counselors were found to be significantly more compliant than psychologists with section A.12.h. and the aggregate total of all sections. However, compliance rates for both groups were generally low, and implications are discussed.