Before Adding Online Counseling Services, Counselors Should Explore Ethical, Practice and Business Issues, Says Capella University’s Dr. Pamela Patrick

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Internet’s capabilities extend access to mental health counseling.

Practitioners need to explore and address the ethical and standards of practice issues and other complexities inherent in this distinctly different method of counseling

Online counseling—the delivery of mental health counseling services over the Internet—has claimed a place in the counseling profession, Pamela K.S. Patrick, Ph.D., told attendees of the American Counseling Association 2006 Convention. Online counseling may be effective and appropriate for certain clients, she said, and it holds the potential to benefit those who may not otherwise access traditional face-to-face counseling.

Dr. Patrick, faculty director for colloquia curriculum at Capella University, an accredited* online university, told the group that offering counseling online requires an enormous amount of advance preparation. “Practitioners need to explore and address the ethical and standards of practice issues and other complexities inherent in this distinctly different method of counseling,” she said. Further, they need to see to the practical aspects of running an e-business over the Web, added Dr. Patrick.

Dr. Patrick is the author of five books, including “Contemporary Issues in Counseling,” which is slated for release in Fall 2006. She is an experienced conference and workshop speaker. Dr. Patrick has more than 25 years experience as a psychologist in medical centers and private practice. She began her professional career as a nurse in acute and critical-care settings.

About Capella University

Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited* online university that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Science online degree program with 11 specializations in business and information technology. The online university currently serves more than 14,500 enrolled learners from all 50 states and 63 countries. Capella is a national leader in online education, committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456, http://www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.

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