Telepsychology in a Modern World: A Qualitative Study
Computers and the Internet ushered humanity into a new era in the late 1990s – information on a variety of topics became widely available to the general public and it became suddenly possible for individuals to communicate with one another instantaneously regardless of each person’s geographical location. According to some, the evolution of technology has outpaced humanity’s ability to learn how to manage technology properly, and this appears particularly true in the field of psychology. Instant messaging, social media sites, and video conferencing have all influenced the ways in which therapists and patients can interact. Questions remain, however, about the use of this technology. This paper intends to address some of those questions by considering whether or not telepsychology is effective when it is used to conduct therapy and the circumstances under which a therapist might use a technological medium to provide such services. A review of some ethical considerations related to the use of technology in the service of providing therapeutic services is also included, as well as a discussion regarding embodiment and whether or not anything is lost in the therapeutic encounter when two individuals choose to interact with one another through the use of technology instead of face-to-face.
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