1 Live CE Credit Hour. Continuing Education for Office Hours (CE for OH) Session. October 31st, 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern.

Developed by Roy Huggins, LPC NCC
Presented by Roy Huggins, LPC NCC; Liath Dalton

Robot hand reaching out

The Online Disinhibition Effect (ODE) is one of the few psychological phenomena that comes up only in computer-mediated interactions. It arises in conversations on Facebook, when surfing the Web alone, when texting with others, and of course it comes up in telemental health relationships.

The concept was named by cyberpsychology researcher, John Suler, Ph.D. Those experiencing the Online Disinhibition Effect may “…loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly.” (Suler, 2004) This disinhibition can be “benign” and it can be “toxic.” (Suler, 2004)

Similarly, it can benefit therapy and it can detract from therapy. Understanding and learning to work with the ODE is essential to effective telemental health work.

This introductory-level course for counselors, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and clinical and counseling psychologists will help learners understand Suler’s description of the 6 factors of Online Disinhibition Effect, how they arise therapy, and how they can cause therapy-interfering problems or therapy-assisting benefits.

1 Live CE Credit Hour. Continuing Education for Office Hours (CE for OH) Session. October 31st, 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern.

Educational Objectives

  • Describe the 6 factors of Online Disinhibition Effect
  • Describe how Online Disinhibition Effect impacts therapist-client interactions performed via videoconferencing
  • Use Online Disinhibition Effect as a tool to improve the quality of therapeutic interventions performed via videoconferencing


  1. What is the Online Disinhibition Effect and What are Its Factors?
    • Dissociative Anonymity
    • Invisibility
    • Asynchronicity
    • Solipsistic Introjection
    • Dissociative Imagination
    • We’re Equals (minimizing authority)
  2. How Do the Factors of Disinhibition Relate to Telemental Health Media and Impact Therapy Work via Videoconferencing?
    • How the factors classically appear in textual media
    • How the factors also appear in videoconferencing
  3. How Can the Factors of Disinhibition Detriment Therapy via Videoconferencing?
    • Loss of close rapport
    • Client dissociation or avoidance
    • Helping clients avoid negative effects of disinhibition
  4. How Can the Factors of Disinhibition Benefit Therapy via Videoconferencing?
    • Leveraging disinhibition to deepen insight-making
    • Using increased transference

Vital Stats

Date and Time: October 31st, 10AM Pacific / 11AM Mountain / Noon Central / 1PM Eastern
Venue: The event will be held via interactive webinar during an Office Hours session.
Cost: Included for all those with Office Hours access.

Partial References

Course Developer/Primary Presenter

Roy Huggins, LPC NCCRoy Huggins, LPC NCC, is a counselor in private practice who also directs Person-Centered Tech. Roy worked as a professional Web developer for 7 years before changing paths, and makes it his mission to grow clinicians’ understanding of the Internet and other electronic communications mediums for the future of our practices and our professions.

Roy is an adjunct instructor at the Portland State University Counseling program where he teaches Ethics, and is a member of the Zur Institute advisory board. He has acted as a subject matter expert on HIPAA, security and clinical use of technology for Counseling licensure boards and both state and national mental health professional organizations. He has co-authored or authored 2 book chapters, and he routinely consults with mental health colleagues on ethical and practical issues surrounding tech in clinical practice. He served for 5 years on the board of the Oregon Mental Health Counselors Association and then the Oregon Counseling Association as the Technology Committee Chair.

He really likes this stuff.

Course Co-Presenters

Liath Dalton is a Ph.D candidate in Religious Studies. She began her academic career at Reed College and continued her graduate work at the University of Cape Town.

Liath is the Deputy Director for Person Centered Tech and runs our HIPAApropriateness review program. Through her combination of experience evaluating products for their utility and security in regards to how they can meet risk management needs and providing guidance to members around what product options will best meet their specific practice needs, Liath has an intimate knowledge of both what the practice tech needs are for mental health professionals and what it takes for a product to meet those needs.

Program Notices

Accuracy, Utility, and Risks Statement: This program is heavily drawn from sources created by one individual, John Suler, and not all of the concepts covered are formally validated by research.

Conflicts of Interest: None.

Commercial Support: This program has no commercial support.

All events for this program will be subject to our cancellation/refund policy and complaint policy.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash


Scheduled Maintenance

We will be temporarily taking the website offline at 10:00 PM Pacific (1:00 AM Eastern) tonight, July 6, in order to make some improvements. We plan to be back online by midnight Pacific (3:00 AM Eastern). We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Dismiss