On March 20, 2020, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers “strongly recommended” that all non-essential social workers and social service workers suspend service until further notified.
Also, on March 23, 2020, public health authorities requested that all non-essential business suspend their services.
As an ethical agency that believes in ensuring we do not transmit this virus, we decided to suspend our in-person counselling sessions on March 16, 2020.
Alternatively, we continue offering counselling services for youth, adults and couples through alternative communication technologies. We ensure that the communication technologies we use are in support of the privacy legislation. Therefore, we are using Doxy for visual sessions.
You can book a session, and we will send you a Doxy link to log in. Doxy has been identified to see the industry's standards for privacy and security.
This includes complying with Canadian Data Protection regulations, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and, locally, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA)." Despite web-based virtual services meeting privacy standards, it must be noted compromises, even from secure sites, are always possible despite best efforts.
We also provide phone counselling. Again, cell phones are not secured and can be ‘hacked.’ As an agency, we are transparent about any potential risks to privacy and want to inform you of these before making your decision.
We prefer Doxy for virtual counselling rather than Messenger, FaceTime or other unsecured virtual platforms as they do NOT meet privacy standards. In saying this, should you prefer FaceTime, we need to review all the potential privacy risks, and you must agree to these risks.
All of our typical in-person therapy/counselling services can be offered through our technology-based alternatives, including:
anger and self-regulation training
grief and loss
It must be noted that online therapy approaches are NOT and appropriate therapeutic approach for individuals experiencing:
suicidal or self-harming thoughts - please access crisis services in your community
severe mental health such as psychosis symptoms - contact your local crisis services
views of violence toward others
children who developmentally cannot effectively language well might find virtual approaches less effective.
Technology challenges where your internet or technology is not operating or outdated and implicating operating performance. Also, this might include the lack of headsets for computer privacy, therefore implicating privacy.
Where the home environment does not allow for adequate privacy due to other individuals living in close proximity, shared environment, lack of soundproofing within rooms or other environmental louder noises.