Psychological Practice Using Telepsychology
Technology in Practice Survey of Alberta Psychologists
PAA Technology in Practice (TiP) Committee was established by the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta (PAA) in February 2020. The COVID pandemic was declared in March 2020 leading to widespread adoption of telepsychology in psychological practice. Based in part on a PAA Task Force in Technology Report formally released in January 2020, ethical and competent use of telepsychology were identified as priority areas by the committee members. Consequently, as an initial step, an online survey was developed by the committee to consult with the membership about its current use of telepsychology in Alberta, and its confidence in using this technology ethically and appropriately, particularly during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid adoption of telepsychology in psychologist practice, despite the lack of information available on psychologists’ training, readiness, and familiarity with potential security and confidentiality issues of telepsychology platforms. Psychologists have had to respond quickly to meet client needs, and this survey indicates that many have risen to the challenge.
Results indicated that psychologists have primarily adopted telepsychology in counselling practice, with lesser adoption in other practice areas. Though the majority indicated feeling trained and prepared, at least 30% indicated a need for additional preparation, training, and support in this medium. Telepsychology was reported to be primarily used part-time; the majority of psychologists indicated using telepsychology for fewer than 20-hours per week. This is in contrast to American data where up to 53% of psychologists were exclusively using online platforms (Sammons, VandenBos, Martin & Elchert, 2020).
PAA Technology in Practice (TiP) Committee:
• Dr. Michael Stolte (Chair)
• Mr. Andrew Luceno
• Dr. Trevor Josephson
• Dr. Jacqui Linder (Board Liaison)
Results compiled by Dr. Stolte with additional review and contributions by remaining committee members.