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Online Interviewing

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Submitted By shannon9255
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Online Interviewing
Online interviewing has been proven to be an effective means of counseling in areas such as obesity, generalized anxiety, and PTSD symptoms (Sommers-Flanagan & Sommers-Flannagan, 2014). There are several benefits to the use of online interviewing. Online interviewing allows for the extension of clinical resources beyond geographical or physical boundaries. Like our online courses, online interviewing also allows for flexibility in scheduling. Because interview sessions are conducted online, I also feel that online interviewing has the potential to reduce stigma that others may feel as a result of having to go to a counseling office.
I personally have mixed emotions about the use of online interviewing. As mentioned above, I feel that the greatest benefit of online interviewing is the versatility of where and when it can be used. Essentially, anyone who has access to computer and internet has the possibility of engaging in counseling. However, I feel that there are a lot of risks to using online counseling. There are obvious concerns such as security, knowing who you are talking to, or what to do in an emergency situation. However, I feel that more subtle nuances found in face to face interviewing are lost as well. For example, I am the kind of person who overanalyzes what I write or say. I tend to erase and retype information often. In asynchronous online relationships, this would allow me the opportunity to edit the information that I shared based on how I wanted it to be perceived. Although I could obviously lie in a clinical interview as well, a counselor may be more likely to notice signs of discomfort or avoidance behaviors, and it would be more difficult to retract what is said as opposed to hitting backspace over the information that I typed.
I know just in the role plays we have done for this course, I have also encountered some issues using online technology to conduct interviews. For example, during our first role play, the power went off in my house due to weather. There were times that technology did not work well (i.e. lost connection, could not hear the other person). Also, my dog decided to barge in during one session. (He obviously ignored the do not disturb sign on the door). While, I feel that online interviewing, as a whole, has great potential, I think competence in using online interviewing is vital, and more focus/research needs to be done on the standardization of techniques and informed consent as well as how to handle jurisdictional differences.

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