Counseling and Psychotherapy
in the Age of Internet Technology
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
I can remember twenty years ago having an elitist attitude about how I found my doctors. I only saw a doctor by referral. I was not the kind of person to find a doctor in the yellow pages. And I was accustomed to patients seeking me out through referral. Roughly 90% of my patients came to me through doctor or friend referral.
With the advent of the Internet and unlimited long-distance calling, doors have opened up for a new era of psychotherapy: Internet referral and telephone delivery. At first glance one might expect this to be “less” psychotherapy, however it’s just the opposite. Here’s why.
Specialization and Higher Level Expertise
Finding your therapist on the Internet opens doors to resources worldwide. No longer do you have to rely on the expertise of your immediate, local community. This provides the domestic abuse survivor and counseling consumer with options for securing services from the most qualified, most experienced professional in the particular area of expertise that matches their needs.
Now once you have done your homework and located this domestic violence counseling professional on the Internet, with the help of Google or your favorite social networking site, it’s time to check out their credentials. Again, this is very easy with the Internet.
Essentially, all you need is to request their Curriculum Vita and instantly you can download a PDF file and review their qualifications, their education, credentials, experience, professional contributions, rewards, honors and associations. And you can digest all of this information conveniently without leaving your house.
Telephone Psychotherapy: Is It True?
Can you really do psychotherapy on the telephone? You’re accustomed to being face-to-face with your therapist, so how can you trust the telephone delivery? Good question. Here’s how and here’s why it can be even better than face-to-face psychotherapy.
If you’ve ever been in psychotherapy, you know the importance of the relationship and therapeutic alliance formed with the therapist. Most experts say it’s actually the vessel that births psychotherapeutic process. But do you need to be looking at this person for the psychotherapeutic process to happen? Absolutely not; to the contrary, it’s best to be looking at yourself.
Since the birth of psychotherapy, the master psychotherapists placed their patients on couches reclined and facing away from themselves. You know the classic image of “Freud's couch” with the doctor out of the patient’s view. This positioning facilitated inward reflection and intra-personal inquiry. The focus of psychotherapeutic process is between patient and self, not between patient and therapist.
While it is extremely important to recognize that the relationship between patient and therapist is the cradle for the self-discovery, know the role of voice and presence in creating that relationship. The trust, the rapport, the interpersonal sensitivity and perceptiveness all play an important role in establishing therapeutic alliance and can all be accomplished on the telephone.
Once this is cultivated, the other interpersonal dynamics between any two people can be distracting to the real work of self-growth, healing and development. Those with experience in rabbinical counseling know the value of the confessional enclosure and partition between priest and parishioner. What you say and what you get is between you and God, not you and your clergy.
If you are looking for help and wish to benefit from endless resources and convenient service delivery, recognize the benefits of Internet referral and telephone therapy. Your healthcare insurance carrier may also recognize this professional service. They call it “telephone psychotherapy.”
So there is no longer an excuse for finding a good therapist. If you want one, you can find one and Google will help you. To learn more about domestic abuse counseling, visit: www.EnddomesticAbuse.org Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse.
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© Copyright 2009 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. PreventAbusiveRelationships
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.