The American psychology association committee on communications and technology has developed a set of flexible and workable guidelines that has been significant in the organizations communications and decision making processes. Telepsychology has become the most recent mode of communications and a tool for decision making in the American psychology association.
Telespsychology has become the basis for developing guidelines and frameworks on recommending codes of conduct and practices that psychologist ought to be aware of when providing their services. The advent of telepsychology as a basis for decision making and organizations communications, has successfully incorporated professional guidance, public benefit and legal and regulatory framework in all forms of its undertakings.
The undermining principles behind the adopted telepsychology form of service delivery by the American psychology association are the public benefits and professional guidance. The new baseline for major decision making and communications aims at improved service delivery in the major practice areas of the organization.
This is through the development of clear cut guidelines and setting up reasonable standards that will caution the highly esteemed clients from substandard treatments or practices. In terms of professional guidance, telepsychology enhances a critical examination of how this modern form of communication and decision making meets the stipulated professional standards and ethical requirements of practice such as informed consent and confidentiality.
All forms of technology are boomingly becoming more relevant in the practice of psychology. This is even more so when it comes to communications technology. Communications technology has recently been proved to be the most prevent tool not only for organizations’ both internal and external communications, but also a tool and a baseline upon which all organizations decision making process are based on. Communications technology is now the undermining principle when it comes to the provision of psychological services.
The main essence of the modern technologies developments in psychology is not only to offer efficient tools for communications for psychologists. It also offers significant challenges to the psychologists in determining how best these technologies can be put into better utilization in the field. The recent strides in technological advancements in the field of psychology have acquired to diverge perspective form the psychologists themselves.
Despite the many advantages of communication technology in communications and decision making in the American Psychology Association, policies are being developed to aid psychologists remain vigilant on issues of diversity in their now mainly online environment and uphold the importance of the socio-cultural environment in the field of psychology.
The newly adopted form of communication by psychologists can also be detrimental if not well taken care off. For instance, the highly reduced face to face situations by the recent and modern communication technology techniques in psychology tends to create an illusion to the psychologists that their online clients are of similar cultural opinions as them.
Psychologists in their delivery of non-face to face psychological services using the modern communication technology should always bear in mind the compliance with the American Psychology Association code of ethics and conduct. This has necessitated the association to come up with standards on enhancing adherence to the stipulate d ethical requirements for psychological service delivery.
The American psychological association is the biggest psychologists’ professional organization in the States as well as in Canada. The organization has over 137,000 member’s .Members of this organization include teachers, scientists, doctors, students, consultants, librarians, educators and lawyers. As contained in the organization’s mission statement, the aim of the association is to enhance communication, creation and use of psychological facts to benefit the society in entire.
APA membership is not open to everyone .To become a psychologist under APA one should have a doctorate in psychology. Full membership of APA requires training in psychology whereas associate membership requires one to have at least two years of post-graduate education.The term ‘guidelines’ as used in relation to telepsychology only represents suggested recommendations or suggested professional conduct. The recommendations guiding telepsychology should be differentiated from standards.
Standards are compulsory and are usually accompanied by some form of enforcement. Guidelines are not mandatory and neither do they carry some enforcement. CTC had to remove the ambiguity which existed between the three terms, codes of ethics, best practices and standards. Code of ethics are standards that are supposed to be adhered to by a profession, best practices are a set of rules which guide best treatment and behavior adopted to satisfy a client.
The guides of telepsychology are voluntary and evolutionary .The CTC discovered that the telepsychological guides did not exhaustively address specific technologies such as e-mail and website. Consequently there was a need to come up with guidelines which satisfy the needs of these technologies. The CTC thus espoused a number of primary assumptions to use for the development of telepsychology guides.
The guidelines are supposed to be based on practices considered to be the best and should reflect professional knowledge and experience. They are to be evolutionary; allowing for a periodical review if the guides. The guidelines will require regular updates to determine their utility, validity as well as applicability. The standards represent rules and regulations that guide APA membership.
Members of the APA are required to abide to the principles of the APA codes. Members also abide to rules and regulations aimed at enforcing these rules. The current rules of APA clearly outline the procedures of investigating, filing and resolving unethical issues in the APA .Violation of standards governing APA can lead to imposition of sanctions or termination of APA membership .The APA code has an intention of guiding professionals and organizations which choose to adopt the codes of APA .The APA code provides various professions a reference point when making key professional decisions.
Psychologists and professionals under the umbrella of APA are required to observe some procedures and codes where non face to face communication is involved. In non-face to face communications such as in telephones, video conferencing, blogging, chat and professional networking must make sure that they comply with the APA ethical codes. In the modern society, use of non-face to face communication has become very common. This has called for establishment of a given protocol and procedure to guide this kind of communications. The APA has in recent years offered communicational solutions in various professions.
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