Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vignette 35: Initial Telepsychology Session for Free?

Dr. Larry Ellison, a psychologist colleague, contacts you about a marketing plan for his telepsychology services.  He has over 1,000 followers on Twitter and a strong social media presence on Facebook.  His plan is this: He wants to offer one free psychotherapy session to potential patients. He explains he is trying to promote his telepsychology practice and show that psychologists are open, friendly, and willing to help, potentially for free to get treatment started.  The overarching goal is to develop a robust telepsychology practice.

Knowing the rules of his state, Dr. Ellison will make it clear that services are only available in the states that he is licensed.  Dr. Ellison will use a HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing service.  He is looking for general feedback, such as thoughts on a good marketing plan or any ethical concerns.

Upon hearing his plan, do you have any ethical concerns about this marketing plan?

What are some of the practical or potential pitfalls of this plan?

What are some of the overarching ethical principles involved in this decision?

What state laws would you consider to help make this decision?