Informed Consent Provided For Consumers at aPrivateTalk.com

Taken from standards described in: Internet-mediated psychological services and the American Psychological Association Ethics Code by Celia B. Fisher and Adam L. Fried. As published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 40(1-2), Spring-Summer 2003, 103-111.

Excerpt: "Informed consent is seen by many as the primary means of protecting the self-governing and privacy rights of those with whom psychologists work. In the previous APA (1992) Ethics Code, the obligation to obtain informed consent was limited to research and therapy. The broader informed consent requirements introduced into the current revision of the Ethics Code reflect the societal change from a paternalistic to an autonomy-based view of professional ethics. Required elements of informed consent specifically relevant to Internet practice are detailed in Standards 9.03, Informed Consent in Assessments, and in 10.01, Informed Consent to Therapy. The obligations described in Standard 3.10, Informed Consent, apply to these other consent standards.”

It is the aim of aPrivateTalk.com, prior to providing consulting services over the Internet, to obtain the informed consent of each individual by providing an appropriate explanation of the nature and purpose of services provided, fees, involvement of third parties, and limits of confidentiality as well as sufficient opportunity for the potential consumer to ask questions. You will be asked by the professional you work with, to provide your consent to services, based on the following information.

Informed Consent Agreement

There is an ongoing debate among mental health professionals about what services can be provided over the internet. Psychotherapy is generally a face to face relationship conducted by a licensed professional in the privacy of an office setting. In that type of relationship, specific tools of assessment, testing, and diagnostics are available to assist clients.

Diagnosis, Testing, and Court Ordered Treatment

aPrivateTalk.com does not provide testing or diagnostic services. We also do not conduct services mandated for court ordered therapy or drug rehabilitation counseling. If you have been court ordered to attend therapy sessions, please seek those in a face to face relationship in your location, in order for those to be accepted by the court.

If you are interested in self diagnosing, aPrivateTalk.com can not substantiate or confirm that diagnosis, and treatment will not be determined by or based on an unconfirmed diagnosis. Instead, we will work on symptoms described by you, to help in elevating those symptoms. This may include our recommendations that you seek additional types of support from professionals in your location.

Counseling Description

The consultants/counselors at aPrivateTalk.com provide counseling, feedback, emotional support and recommendations. You may be asked to do “homework” assignments between sessions to get increased benefit and results from counseling relationship. You remain in control of what you choose to do about your individual life situation, and the counseling will in most cases support the path you choose. aPrivateTalk.com uses standard methods of cognitive therapy, to learn new ways to approach problems. Cognitive relates to the processes of thinking, and the results of that thinking, in feelings and behavioral outcomes.

You will on occasion be given homework assignments which are designed to allow you to take actions to help yourself. The assignment of action tasks is defined as a behavioral approach. These assignments are always left up to your choice. You may always feel free to decline to do any particular assignment, and/or ask questions for clarity.

We also offer supportive approaches such as listening, empathizing, acknowledging painful life situations, encouragement and validation of your private thoughts and feelings. We will always let you know if any process used is non-traditional in nature. Our purpose at aPrivateTalk.com is to help you get back to feeling as you did, before experiencing the symptoms of your current problem or issue.

In any professional relationship, there is no guarantee of outcome. Please be honest with the goals you set forth for your counseling, to allow your counselor to assess your situation with all the information you are able to give. More information can provide additional insights to help you in coming to resolutions.

Third Party Involvement in Your Privacy

Your information is confidential and is not shared ever for any type of profit or marketing. Information is not provided to any insurance carrier. If you decide that you wish to share the information, it is always the choice of the consumer.

Exceptions to privacy disclosures are made in cases of child abuse, threats of self harm, and threats of harm to others. In these cases we will make every attempt to notify appropriate authorities.

Fees and Payment Security

Each time you add time to your account, you will be informed of the corresponding fees. You are never charged by someone else, and only you have access to the functions and information needed to make charges to your account. This process is never automated. A secure service is used for all accounts.

Pros and Cons of Internet Counseling Services

To further investigate the benefits and drawbacks from online counseling, please review: Providing Counseling Online: Because We “Can”, Should We? Click here to read the article.

If you have questions prior to beginning a consulting relationship with aPrivateTalk.com, please email us at AFN.aPrivateTalk@gmail.com

The Staff at aPrivateTalk.com

Revised 3/8/07
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