Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Westefeld, John S

First Committee Member

Liu, William M

Second Committee Member

Kivlighan, D Martin

Third Committee Member

Schreier, Barry A

Fourth Committee Member

Colvin, Carolyn


Psychologists now use and interact with a mélange of technology for client care, including (but not limited to) email (Delsignore et al., 2016; Eysenbach, 2000), text messaging (Bradley & Hendricks, 2009; Elhai & Frueh, 2016), electronic medical records (Harrison & Palacio, 2006; Steinfeld & Keyes, 2011), telemental health/televideo (Richardson, Frueh, Grubaugh, Egede, & Elhai, 2012), and digital assessments (Jellins, 2015; Pearson Education Inc., 2015b). Amidst this technological revolution, threats to ethical obligations and regulations exist that might hinder effective client care (Elhai & Hall, 2016b; Lustgarten, 2015; Lustgarten & Colbow, 2017). Literature suggests that individuals, organizations, companies, and government actors have targeted individuals and nations for their data (Elhai & Hall, 2016b; Greenwald, 2014; Lustgarten, 2015). Despite concerns for protecting client information, little is known about the education and training opportunities present in APA-accredited clinical and/or counseling psychology doctoral programs around technology competence. Researchers have recommended trainees receive technology training for use within psychotherapy (Colbow, 2013; Lustgarten & Colbow, 2017; Mallen, Vogel, & Rochlen, 2005). This study interviewed 9 doctoral trainees about their experiences, decision making, thought processes, responsibilities for stakeholders, and additional needs from training programs, organizations, and practicum sites when using technology. Results suggested that participants had limited opportunities for education, but interacted with and were expected to use various forms of technology (e.g., email, text messaging, and electronic medical records). Additionally, participants tended to request increased organizational involvement on this topic in the form of formal conversations, workshops, and continuing education. More research is recommended to highlight disparities between expectations and education within doctoral training programs.


Decision Making, Doctoral Trainees, Ethics, Privacy and Confidentiality, Technology, Training and Education


xi, 192 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 152-182).


Copyright © 2018 Samuel David Lustgarten