On April 16th I participated in the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) webinar titled, “The Ethical Use of Digital Technology in DMT.” And by participated I mean I listened in on Paul Sevett, MA, BC-DMT, LICSW, present a PowerPoint on this very topic. As an avid blogger, I felt it was my duty to listen in on what Mr. Sevett had to say about technology and paid careful attention to discussion concerning blogs and blogging.
If you are unfamiliar with webinars let me quickly explain. A webinar is like an online meeting or online lecture. After you sign-up and pay for the webinar via the ADTA website, you then register with the host website GoToWebinar. You’ll then be sent a hyper-link via e-mail to access the webinar at the appropriate time and date. Once you receive your unique webinar hyperlink make sure to save that e-mail and then when the webinar is about to begin, like May 7th at 8-9 pm (EDT), just open the e-mail and click the link. And botta boom, botta bing, you are synched in and ready to listen to the webinar. This is assuming, of course, you have access to a computer, headphones (the preferred method of listening) and the internet.
The particular webinar I listened to was about the ethical concerns of using technology in DMT. The webinar explored what, as professional dance/movement therapists, we need to think about when using technology of any kind (e.g. e-mail, text message, Twitter, Facebook, professional website, Skype, etc.). Paul Sevett began the webinar by discussing why a dance/movement therapist may want to use technology and reminding us of the core ethical principles (like nonmaleficence, justice and autonomy, to name a few). He then broke down the different ways dance/movement therapists may use different technology. One way dance/movement therapists may use technology is using Skype for therapy or supervision sessions. Another way is using text messages and e-mail to communicate with clients. He also discussed the use of social media and how this relates to our identity as professional dance/movement therapists.
In discussing the ways we can use technology, Paul Sevett was very clear in outlining the ethical concerns related with each one. In general, he spoke a lot about concerns of clients’ privacy and emphasized collecting informed consent from clients about using technology within the therapeutic relationship. Unfortunately, Paul Sevett did not say too much about blogs and blogging. He did make a general warning, saying that by posting a blog you are leaving yourself (and your blog post) vulnerable to comments by outside readers. Such comments may or may not be nice or well-informed. As a blogger, I would add that when blogging the concern for my clients’ privacy is always on my mind. It may be obvious that I cannot post client names or pictures of my clients on my blog. What may be less obvious, however, is posting the name of where I work which is also revealing information that my lead to a break in confidentiality.
In general, I enjoyed listening to Paul Sevett’s webinar. The topic of ethics is, well, the topic of ethics and is usually not the most exciting conversation. However, ethical concerns of digital technology is very relevant as evidenced by the ADTA’s creation of webinars in the first place. I welcome the ADTA’s use of webinars and think it’s a great way for people to have access to information regarding DMT. And not even just general information, but current and meaningful information about our work. I also appreciate it because, for a small fee, I can listen to lectures from individuals who I usually would have to wait til the conference to hear. Although I live in a great city and I am surrounded by amazing dance/movement therapists, it’s nice to have access to viewpoints outside of my DMT community. Not to mention, you receive one Continuing Education (CE) credit for attending a webinar.
As I alluded to above, the next ADTA webinar is May 8th at 8-9 pm (EDT) and you can register for it here. It’s titled, “Quantitative Research: A brief review” and presented by Robyn Flaum Cruz, PhD, BC-DMT, LPC (hey, I think I own a book by her…). Although I won’t be able to listen to the next one due to travel plans, look for me at the following one… scroll through the attendee list and you might see my name.