Advertisement

Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 61–71 | Cite as

On-line professionals

  • S. Matthews
Article

Abstract

Psychotherapy and counselling services are now available on-line, and expanding rapidly. Yet there appears almost no ethical analysis of this on-line mode of delivery of such professional services. In this paper I present such an analysis by considering the limitations on-line contact imposes on the nature of the professional–client relationship. The analysis proceeds via the contrast between the face-to-face case and the on-line case. At the core of the problem must be the recognition that on-line interaction imposes a physical barrier largely permitting only those disclosures of self we choose to make available, and greatly restricting the range of involuntary features and behaviours. I show why this is problematic, first, for the development of a close professional–client relationship, with particular emphasis on such failures as diagnosis and monitoring of the patient. Second I describe the importance of the development of professional character, and of how the on-line environment fails to provide a context for such character traits to emerge and develop.

Keywords

Domestic Violence Professional Character Moral Emotion Moral Commitment Client Relationship 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ainsworth, Martha. 1995. Talk to a Therapist Online. Online at http://www.metanoia.org/imhs/index.html.
  2. American Psychiatric Association1994Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)American Psychiatric AssociationWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Austin, J.L 1962How to Do Things with WordsHarvard University PressCambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennett, J 1986The Conscience of Huckleberry FinnArthur,  J eds. Morality and Moral Controversies2Prentice-HallEnglewood Cliffs, N.J.19Google Scholar
  5. Cocking, D, Kennett, J 1998Friendship and the SelfEthics108502526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cocking, D, Oakley, J 2001Virtue Ethics and Professional RolesCambridge University PressCambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Cocking, D., Matthews, S. 2000Unreal FriendsEthics and Information Technology2223231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Graeme, Forbes 1994Modern LogicOxford University PressNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Grice, H.P 1989Studies in the Way of WordsHarvard University PressCambridge, MassGoogle Scholar
  10. J. Kennett and S. Matthews. Delusion, Dissociation and Identity. Philosophical Explorations, 6, 31–49, 2003.Google Scholar
  11. Lawrence, Sharmila. 2002. Domestic Violence and Welfare Policy. Published by National Centre for Children in Poverty, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. (See http://www.researchforum.org, viewed 18th August 2004.).
  12. Daniel, Marschall 2002Internet Technologists as an Occupational Community: Ethnographic EvidenceInformation, Communication and Society55169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Seumas, Miller 1999Private and Professional Character in PolicingPerspectives1846Google Scholar
  14. Searle, J 1969Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of LanguageCambridge University PressCambridge, EngGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics (An ARC funded Special Research Centre)Charles Sturt University, and University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, School of Humanities, Charles Sturt UniversityWagga WaggaAustralia

Personalised recommendations