How to keep online therapy safe and secure

In early November, The Guardian posted an article about Tim Berners-Lee idea for a new “contract for the web”. Tim Berners-Lee is the founder of the web and he is very concerned with the privacy of online users on the internet.

Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global campaign to protect the online users for abuse and discrimination among other important issues with the use of the internet.

He wants governments, companies and individuals to support a “Contract for the Web” with the main goal to protect people’s rights and freedom on the internet. He calls it a “Magna Carta for the web”. The aim is for all to have access to the internet, in a freely, safely, secured and without fear of abuse.

“Magna Carta for the web”

ACTO welcome this campaign and is very pleased with already so many companies supporting a contract for the web. More than 50 organisations have signed the contract so far and the number is hopefully growing every day. 

The online world is a wonderful and exciting world where opportunities are endless. Unfortunately, the internet also brings fake news, online bullying, websites being hacked and personal information might end up being shared online, which was never intended to be shared for the wide public.

At ACTO we work very hard to keep online therapy safe and secure but accessible for all. We keep up with current research in the area, we keep developing as online software becomes available and the technology furthers.

We only promote and work with online platforms that can show evidence of a secured and confidential service to clients, therapists and counsellor.

ACTO is using its strong relationships with other professional therapy. and related, bodies to ensure that these high standards are maintained across all modalities and online work.

ACTO’s online training requirements

ACTO is also working with the growing number of online training providers to create high standards of training that will give therapists confidence in the course they choose, that it will equip them to embark on online therapy. 

ACTO believes strongly that to practice as effectively and ethically as possible specific training in online therapy is vital.  In the same way that any professional would seek training if broadening out their career and skills in a new area.  All therapists have a foundation training that is robust, with ethics a core aspect running through it.  As we develop our careers our professional bodies expect us to continuously train and keep open to new approaches and learning.  And if we were to begin work in a new way would look for an appropriate course to support this. 

For example, core therapy training is to equip the therapist to work with adults, and so we know that to branch out to work with children and young people, we would seek a course that helped us to develop the skills to work ethically in this specialism.  In the same way, we would expect a doctor wanting to practice in a related, but a different part of medicine to undertake appropriate training.

ACTO believes that maintaining high standards of online training and practice supports both online therapists and the public.  The legal and technological world is ever-changing and can be complicated to understand, potentially leading the untrained online therapist into difficulties.  So ACTO has recently led in a pilot with CORE-net, gathering evidence for the use of CORE in online therapy, with a fascinating and very positive result, which will be used to take this pilot forward to the benefit of all ACTO members.

This gives a flavour of the range of work that ACTO is undertaking on behalf of online therapists, and those wishing to train.  ACTO’s ethos is to be professional, ethical and inclusive, and the Board is always keen for ACTO members to join either the Board or the range of working groups that are doing so much of the valuable work of ACTO.  For example, there are working groups for research and development, children and young people, the CORE project, and the development of the website.

ACTO is happy to engage in open and robust discussion and offer guidance and support to anyone interested in online working.  ACTO’s members have a wealth of experience, skills and backgrounds that they are keen to share.


Read the guardian article.

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