Growing Trends in Group Counseling:
Ethical and Technological Issues that Effect Vocational Rehabilitation
546 Group Counseling
Dr. B. Canfield
February 26, 2008
This paper explores the different ways in which group counseling can be used for the purpose of Vocational Rehabilitation. It also gives detailed information of how technology can be used in group counseling during Vocational Rehabilitation. The technique of group counseling especially in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation can bring up a number of ethical issues for the counselor and client to resolve. Those ethical issues can also cross over into the area of technology.
The growing trends in group counseling have spread to the field of technology. This expansion has brought about a great number of ethical issues that may not be considered when implementing technology in the Group Counseling in the Vocational Rehabilitation. The term group counseling refers to the counselors being enables practitioners to work with more clients-a decided advantage in these tight financial times- in addition; the group process also has unique learning advantages (Corey, 2004). This paper is to provide a brief background on distance technology services. This article will also focus on advantages, challenges and ethical issues that are involved in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling (VRC). A major challenge in VRC is providing services for individuals to consumers that reside in rural areas. This a significant task as there are 15 million Americans with disabilities living in rural areas (Riemer-Reiss, 2000).
An easy remedy to the distance issue is to stray from traditional services with VRC and supplement a different form of communication for individuals that are unable to access these services due to the distance. Such nontraditional services include telephone communication, e-mail (electronic mail), and video tape. These methods are simple means of communication and many individuals have access to these systems.
The telephone system is a reliable one that can be used to convey information to the clients. The phone system has already proven a success in suicide hot lines, 24 hour counseling services, and mental health consultation inaccessible regions (Riemer-Reiss, 2000). The telephone will be used for admission interviews, individual feedback sessions, and audio teleconferencing. The Electronic mail (e-mail) is a new type of communication that uses computers to send messages almost instantaneously from sender to receiver (Riemer-Reiss, 2000). The email system facilitates the student-teacher communication, promotes discussion among students, and provides opportunities for contact and collaboration with peers from around the world. This would ideal for group counseling sessions with patients and counselors. The telephone and email system are effective techniques for consumer-counselor communication because, they are fast, convenient, and efficient.
The Real Time Video is used to allow clients and counselors to view each other as they communicate. Television and computer screens serve as delivery systems. The modality is interactive, information can be provided and feedback given at the same time (Riemer-Reiss, 2000). Some of the major challenges would be to all of the above services of course are that they are technically based and rely solely on technology. Another, challenge is that many consumers maybe reluctant to access these nontraditional means of distance counseling sessions and telecommunication technology.
The best resolution to the challenge of having technology based counseling is for Vocational counselors to be prepared with an alternative plan for service in the event of technical difficulties. In addition to the challenge of the client/consumer reluctance to access the distance counseling technology, Vocational...