It is only a matter of time until distance counseling becomes a “thing.” It shouldn’t be of any surprise that counselors would figure out a way to use technology for services. Some of this isn’t new: many clinicians use e-mail to coordinate services, schedule appointments, collaborate with other providers, network among colleagues, and consult. Rehabilitation counselors have incorporated assistive technology, online assessments, and resources for clients for quite some time. And many offices and agencies already have a handle on going “green” and “paperless” by using an electronic record keeping services, insurance, and invoices. If you want to recruit for participants for a study or market practice/professional identity, you should have a nice website, professional photo, or at the very least a professional social media profile. I think we can agree, in many ways, technology has made us more present and accessible. I would even argue that social media has created a connectivity that has provided support and advocacy for our profession and various marginalized groups.
I don’t want to get too far off track with the distance counseling subject, but I think we can all agree that technology as commandeered our professional and personal realms—whether we are willing or not. So, my thoughts for this blog entry was not to debate the evolving legislature, politics, or economics---rather to pose a question regarding the philosophy behind incorporating this medium into our counseling interactions. Now, full disclosure—I’ve never provided counseling services via webcam. So, the motivation behind my thoughts is a question: are we compromising humanism for convince or accessibility? What are we willing to lose or minimize in the process? As a colleague of mine said, regarding technology in counseling: “where is the advocacy to slow down?”
Monica Paige Band is a counselor working in Northern Virginia and holds a certification in Rehabilitation Counseling. Monica is also a doctoral student, studying Counselor Education and Supervision at Marymount University. Her interests include multicultural issues, motivational interviewing, clinical supervision processes, as well as career and professional development.