Adventures on the Electronic Frontier

Ethics and Risk Management in the Digital Era

Six Continuing Education Credits
Eric Harris Ed.d, J.D.
Illinois Psychological Association

About the Workshop
Most of us have heard about the dual meanings of the Chinese ideograph for crisis: danger and opportunity. This is a great descriptor of the situation psychology finds itself in with regard to the rapid development of new electronic technologies that could revolutionize the way we provide psychological services. The provision of remote (i.e., internet or telephone based) psychological services is developing rapidly and has been identified as a priority by a number of federal agencies. The Department of Defense currently uses these technologies to evaluate and/or treat its personnel in both combat and noncombat settings. In addition, insurance companies and Medicare are already reimbursing these services in limited circumstances. Psychologists are already involved in this process. The current regulatory system, however, was designed for an environment in which services are provided in person with treatment provided face-to-face. Currently, this dated system has no provisions for treatment to be provided otherwise and is struggling with how to deal with and regulate telepsychology. Consequently, how the regulatory environment will respond to all of this is quite gray at this point. On the one hand, the system is conservative, based on state regulation and geared to protecting consumers within states. On the other hand, everyone realizes that this technology is both revolutionary and has enormous potential to create progressive advancements which cross regulatory borders, raising questions about statutory authority and its applicability.

With the expansion of the digital age even psychologists who have no interest in providing some or all their services remotely are being confronted by issues having to do with the new internet and computer-based technologies. Facebook, Google, cyberreviews and attacks, email, texting, Twitter, Skype, real time audio and visual technology, encryption and computer security are impacting almost all psychologists. Many questions regarding the internet and digital communication have arisen for psychologists and include: Can I have a Facebook page? What can I put on it? How do I secure my electronic communications?

How much of my private, non-professional life and activities is appropriate to reveal to the public? How do I control access to my private and personal information?

The Trust’s experience in giving workshops and taking risk management calls indicates that psychologists are not fully prepared to deal with these developments, particularly those who were not raised in the digital world. Regardless, even psychologists unfamiliar or uninvolved with these new technologies know that they are revolutionizing communication and creating a variety of new professional challenges from which no psychologist can escape.

This workshop will address the above issues starting with a point in time review of the current status of digital psychology and make predictions based on the current state of affairs as well as review the potential professional and economic advantages of using telepsychology. It will provide guidance to psychologists who wish to take full advantage of this technology before the rules are established, a circumstance that will likely expose them to some risk. Additionally, the workshop will review the current ethical rules, standards and underlying principles dealing with telepsychology and online services. It will then look at relevant laws, both current and in development and will address relevant court decisions, government policies, jurisdictional issues and licensing board responses. In summary, this workshop will provide those who attend with an overview of the beginnings of the evolution of regulatory policy for both psychologists interested in using telepsychology and those who are less prone to embrace this new technology. Finally, and most importantly, this cutting edge workshop will provide practitioners with a method of identifying risks and with a process for developing a risk management strategy based on the approach presented in past workshops and in the Trust publication “Assessing andManaging Risk in Psychological Practice: An Individualized Approach.”

Learning Objectives
• Participants will be able to apply basic ethical principles to evaluate risks, benefits, and appropriateness of using various electronic communication and social networking mediums in their professional practice in a variety of situations.

• Participants will be able to identify ethical, legal, and disciplinary trends concerning electronic communication that will allow them to anticipate, plan, and adjust their practices accordingly.

• Participants will be able to evaluate when and how to provide remote professional services, therapeutic, and otherwise to clients in a way that minimizes disciplinary risk.

• Participants will be able to understand, apply, and integrate the laws and legal principles governing remote practice within and between states.

• Participants will be able to identify various kinds of professional credentials that will enable them to increase their professional mobility.

• Participants will be able to develop amendments to their informed consent and documentation and professional consultation policies to accommodate remote practice and electronic communication.

• Participants will be able to identify important issues regarding privacy and confidentiality created by electronic communication mediums and technologies that present risks to clients so they can clearly discuss these risks with clients who wish to utilize these technologies.

• Participants will be able to evaluate and improve their competency to utilize electronic technology and provide remote services to their clients

• Participants will be able to discuss and apply specific positive, ethically based strategies to manage the disciplinary risks presented by remote electronic communication and professional service delivery based on documentation, consultation, informed consent and demonstration of competency

Eliigibility for Insurance Premium Discounts
Workshop completion earns 6 CE credits and eligibility to receive a 15% premium discount on your Trust Sponsored Professional Liability Insurance for your next 2 consecutive policy periods. To obtain CE discounts, submit CE certification from an organization approved by APA to offer CE credit (must have been completed within the previous 15 months) with the insurance application. Discounts cannot be combined and are not applicable to Researcher/Academician or Student policies. Group policies become eligible for the CE discount when at least 50% of those insured under the group policy submit CE certification. All applications are individually underwritten and submission of CE certification will not guarantee insurance policy issuance or renewal.

Workshop Schedule
9 – 10:30 AM: Workshop

10:30 – 10:45AM: Break

10:45 – Noon: Workshop

Noon – 1PM: Lunch on your own

1 – 2:30 PM: Workshop

2:30 – 2:45PM: Break

2:45 – 4:30-PM: Workshop

Adventures on the Electronic Frontier: Ethics and Risk Management
Adventures on the Electronic Frontier: Ethics and Risk Management in the Digital Era is spon- sored by the Illinois Psychological Association. The Illinois Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Illinois Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Six continuing education credits for psychologists will be awarded.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the workshop and complete the Trust evaluation form will receive six continuing education credits. Please note that APA CE rules require that we only give credit to those who attend the entire workshop.Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits and will not be eligible for the 15% premium discount described in this brochure.

No refunds will be offered for this workshop.
Grievances about the workshop may be addressed to the Illinois Psychological Association in writing.

Illinois Psychological Association
67 East Madison Street Suite 1817
Chicago, Illinois 60603

The Standard Club-Chicago
Ethics and Risk Management in the Age of The Affordable Care Act: will be held on Friday, June 3, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Standard Club, 320 South Plymouth Court in Chicago, Illinois. There are several self-park garages in the area. The Standard Club is very close to the Red, Blue, Green and Purple lines of the elevated. The Standard Club is in walking distance east of the train stations.

The Illinois Psychological Association is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in continuing education activities. Presenters and attendees are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality during and after the program. Additionally, if a participant has special needs, she/he should contact Marsha Karey by May 3, 2016 to discuss what accommodations can be provided. All questions, concerns, or complaints should be directed to Ms. Karey (312- 372-7610 x201 or

There is no commercial support for this program, nor are there any relationships between the CE sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.


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