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Section 7
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Electronic Therapy

Question 7 | Test | Table of Contents
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Social Workers, Counselors, MFT's, and Psychologists

When patients are not physically present (e.g., therapy by telephone or Internet) during the provision of therapy, marriage and family therapists take extra precautions to meet their responsibilities to patients. Prior to utilizing electronic therapy, marriage and family therapists consider the appropriateness and suitability of this therapeutic modality to the patient’s needs. When therapy occurs by electronic means, marriage and family therapists inform patients of the potential risks, consequences, and benefits, including but not limited to, issues of confidentiality, clinical limitations, transmission difficulties, and ability to respond to emergencies. Marriage and family therapists ensure that such therapy complies with the informed consent requirements of the California Telemedicine Act.

Marriage and family therapists are aware of the possible adverse effects of technological changes with respect to the dissemination of patient information, and take care when disclosing such information. Marriage and family therapists are also aware of the limitations regarding confidential transmission by Internet or electronic media and take care when transmitting or receiving such information via these mediums.

Marriage and family therapists provide services by Internet or other electronic media to patients located only in jurisdictions where the therapist may lawfully provide such services.

Marriage and family therapists take reasonable steps to assure that advertisements and publications, whether in directories, announcement cards, newspapers, radio, television, Internet or any other media, are formulated to accurately convey information to the public.

Marriage and family therapists do not use any professional identification, including but not limited to: a business card, office sign, letterhead, telephone, or association directory listing, Internet, or any other media, if it includes a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive. A statement is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive if it a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact; b) fails to state any material fact necessary to make the statement, in light of all circumstances, not misleading; or c) is intended to or is likely to create an unjustified expectation.

6 Investigation by Ethics Committee

A. The Ethics Committee shall review complaints and supporting documentation/evidence to determine whether or not to investigate complaints. When the complaint warrants investigation, copies of the complaint and supporting documentation/evidence shall be sent to all members of the Ethics Committee. Investigations maybe carried out by the Chair of the Committee in consultation with Legal Counsel, by the Chair’s designee(s), or by the Committee. The Chair, in consultation with Legal Counsel, may act on behalf of the Committee between meetings of the Committee, to pursue investigations, and shall report such actions to the full Committee.

B. The Chair of the Ethics Committee, in consultation with Legal Counsel, shall prepare and send a letter to the member, specifying those sections of the CAMFT Code of Ethics that may have been violated by the member.
The letter shall inform the member of the ethical duty to cooperate with the Ethics Committee in its effort to investigate the circumstances that led to the allegations, and to provide on his/her behalf, a written statement in response to the allegations made in the complaint. The member shall be sent a copy of the CAMFT Code of Ethics.

C. Investigations may be pursued by corresponding with the member and other persons involved in the dispute, or by interviewing such persons, personally or by telephone, or by any other lawful means.

D. During the investigation stage of the proceedings, the member shall have the right to consult with his/her attorney and shall have the right to have his/her attorney present at any investigatory meeting with the member.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences – CA-BBS Notice to licensees regarding psychotherapy on the Internet

Notice to California Consumers Regarding the Electronic Delivery of Psychological Services

- California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists CAMFT 2011 Code of Ethics: 1.4.1 ELECTRONIC THERAPY

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Kneeland, E. T., Hilton, B. T., Fitzgerald, H. E., Castro-Ramirez, F., Tester, R. D., Demers, C., & McHugh, R. K. (2021). Providing cognitive behavioral group therapy via videoconferencing: Lessons learned from a rapid scale-up of telehealth services. Practice Innovations.

Polychronis, P. D. (2020). Integrated care, shared electronic records, and the psychology profession: A cautionary tale for counseling centers. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 34(1), 1–23.

Sansen, L. M., Saupe, L. B., Steidl, A., Fegert, J. M., Hoffmann, U., & Neuner, F. (2020). Development and randomized-controlled evaluation of a web-based training in evidence-based trauma therapy. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 51(2), 115–124.

What does the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists state regarding electronic services and jurisdiction? To select and enter your answer go to Test.

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