TOPIC: Ethical Issues in Online Psychotherapy – a Narrative Review
This HPCSA Accredited article with multiple choice questionnaire is accredited for a total of 3 Ethics CEU's:
HPCSA Accreditation number:
PSB002/039/01/2021 (3 ceu’s in ethics Level 1)
Stoll, J, Müller, JA, and Trachsel, M (2020). Ethical Issues in Online Psychotherapy – a Narrative Review. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2020, Volume 10, Article 993, 1 – 16
Stoll, J, Müller, JA, and Trachsel, M*
Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Please click on Curriculum (top right) to access the article and questionnaire.
Background: The provision of psychotherapy over distance using technology is a growing market reaching many patients and therefore the risks and benefits need to be known by all psychotherapists whether they themselves practice online or not. This
comprehensive review of the main ethical arguments for and against different forms of online psychotherapy aims to enhance discussion of ethical issues in this growing area.
Methods: A search of three databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science) was conducted in August 2019 using a specific search protocol yielding 249 publications.
Results: Of 24 ethical arguments in favor of online psychotherapy and 32 against, the top five ethical arguments in favor of online psychotherapy were (1) increased access to psychotherapy and service availability and flexibility; (2) therapy benefits and enhanced
communication; (3) advantages related to specific client characteristics (e.g. remote location); (4) convenience, satisfaction, acceptance, and increased demand; and (5) economic advantages. The top five ethical arguments against engagement in online
psychotherapy were (1) privacy, confidentiality, and security issues; (2) therapist competence and need for special training; (3) communication issues specific to technology; (4) research gaps; and (5) emergency issues.
Conclusions: The findings may be of help to practitioners in deciding whether to engage in online psychotherapy, and in informing patients about risks and benefits, improving ethical guidelines, and stimulating further ethical discussion. The findings are argumentative and qualitative in nature, and further quantitative research is needed.
- Lectures 2
- Quizzes 1
- Duration 52 week
- Language English
- Students 3
- Certificate Yes
- Assessments Self
Peer-reviewed article & multiple choice questionnaire
Please read the article and complete the 15 question Multiple Choice Questionnaire at the end of the article. A pass rate of 70% is required to obtain 3 CEU's per article