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Psychological intervention on the internet: ethical and professional issues

14 December 1998


The rapid growth of the internet, coupled with an effort by psychotherapists to access new markets, has resulted in an increase in the number of providers offering psychological services via the internet. This paper briefly reviews the history and origins of online provision of psychological services, examines the current state of the art, and explores relevant ethical issues, including boundaries of competence, avoiding harm, definition of public statements, informed consent, and confidentiality. In addition, professional issues such as jurisdiction, licensing, training, and equal access are examined. Recommendations are offered, including a suggestion to establish a special license and set of guidelines for practitioners of online psychological interventions.


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