Text Therapy

Text Therapy: 12 Risk Management Considerations to Keep You Out of Hot Water


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Are you offering “text therapy”?

Not surprisingly, therapists are finding that clients are increasingly asking for text therapy. Many clinicians have begun offering such services but not fully considered their legal or ethical requirements.

The issues explored in this webinar include a review of the legal and ethical issues required of all licensed professionals, and which types of text messaging platforms allow or don’t allow clinicians to be compliant with those mandates.

This learning activity will review basic risk management approaches to using text messaging as the basis for clinical care. It will outline 12 ways in which text messaging therapy may expose you and your client or patient to undue risk, and help you decide how to handle dilemmas such as these:

  • You are outside your office when your office manager calls you regarding a problem with your next scheduled appointment. You ask that the client’s phone number be sent to you in a text message, knowing that if you simply click the client’s phone number in your text message, the number will be dialed automatically. Your cell phone will thus spare you the time and effort of writing the number down first, then dialing. But are you using HIPAA-compliant text messaging? What are HIPAA text-messaging solutions?
  • In a session, you and your patient develop 2 key self-statements she can use when overwhelmed by the current loss of a relationship. She texts you several days later, and asks you to please text her self-statements because she forgot them. What are the ethics of using text in this situation? How do you prevent her other phone users from seeing these statements? How do you document this event?
  • Your online employer has created a platform that doesn’t allow you to perform your legally required informed consent, mandated reporting or record keeping. Co-workers see “no problem.” What do you do?
  • Your client/patient sends you a text stating, “I can’t take it anymore.” How do you know what this means? How do you respond?

Event Details: Text Messaging Therapy? 12 Risk Management Considerations to Keep You Out of Hot Water Webinar

  • Where: 100% Onlin
  • Fully recorded and available 24/7 after the event to review anytime for 6 months from registration date
  • What: Live & recorded event includes access, slides, and handout
  • Cost: $49 (includes 1-CME or CE Hour)

Learning Objectives

  • List at least four relevant ethical codes that relate to text messaging
  • List the three primary types of text messaging services
  • Intelligently discuss the scientific evidence-base related to text messaging as well as the use of the term text-messaging therapy
  • Name the type of text messaging service that has been shown most effective in healthcare outcome studies
  • List texting security suggestions and possible platforms to consider for secure texting
  • Identify the relevance of HIPAA & HITECH in relation to using smart devices for text messaging
  • Intelligently discuss how clinicians or agencies can be compliant with state law regarding privacy and confidentiality of Protected Health Information (PHI) when text messaging
  • Identify at least three types of errors that diminish client/patient satisfaction with text messaging
  • Discuss professional boundaries in text messaging with clients/patients
  • Outline at least five pivotal legal issues of relevance when accepting employment from an online employer to deliver text messaging therapy as a licensed professional


Ethics of Texting: Do’s and Don’ts

Explore clinical, legal & ethical requirements for text messaging with clients & patients.

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