Letters to the Editor (March 2015)

Clients can benefit from technology-based treatment

In response to the article “Technological advances have pros, cons” (NASW News, January 2015), I was both excited and reserved while reading about social work embracing societal advances with technology, conducive to the availability of treatment services through the Internet.

While working within the mental health and substance use disorder treatment environment for the past 11 years, I have observed a shift in client involvement with technology.

I have noticed that many people participating in recovery-orientated treatment services have Internet access and would benefit from services such as video and email counseling.

Reflecting back to 10 years ago, my observation was that Internet access within the respective population was sporadic.

Contemplating the challenging regulatory HIPAA requirements and confidentiality standards that need to be developed while cautiously assimilating into this new era of treatment, I am enthusiastic that the conversations have begun regarding the possibility of utilizing technological-based relationships as an option for standard treatment practice.

I welcome the notion that social work, recovery-orientated treatment services and technology can coexist, which will require responsible and collaborative implementation processes throughout the respective systems of care.

Paul Terrazas, MSW
Intern San Bernardino, Calif.