E-Therapy Case Study

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A 2015 study (Brown, 2015) showed that the average American adult spends around 11+ hours on electronic devices per day. With an increasingly large amount of communication being done online, why not bring therapy into the electronic age? Online therapy has many benefits and has already proven to be effective. There are many trained professionals who are ready to provide different methods of counsel to many people. First I will discuss the benefits of e-therapy and how it’s already proven to be effective, next I will talk about the different methods of counsel available. Finally I will discuss some concerns surrounding e-therapy and possible solutions, and some problems that the movement still is faced with. Different Types of E-therapy E-therapy…show more content…
Probably the most obvious one is that in some cases observable behaviors aren’t present. Eye contact and body language are key in examining feelings that people aren’t always forthcoming with. If the therapist isn’t able to view clothing or hygiene habits they miss out on some good insight into the mental state of the person. A possible solution to this is to conduct an extensive face to face initial meeting, when possible, so that the therapist has a base to go on before making any diagnosis. Another cause for concern in e-therapy is how can it be ensured that therapists who are proficient in verbal communication are also well versed in text based communication? A crucial part to this method of treatment is that the therapist needs to be able to convey emotion and clear context even though they may not be speaking verbally. To ensure that they are able to do this the licensing board, or some form of committee, could set up a simulation where those interested in e-therapy must prove that they possess the necessary skills. There is also the concern that the ease of access would make it so patients don’t attempt to self soothe, one patient said “There’s that comfort of carrying your doctor around with you like a security blanket, but because he’s more accessible, I feel like I need him less” (Hoffman, 2011). In traditional face to face therapy the provider sometimes must get…show more content…
For example, therapists are licensed differently depending on the state. So if therapy is being conducted across state lines, should the therapists or the clients’ licensing laws apply? If the therapists’ state license laws are followed then the patient might not be getting the same quality of care that would be guaranteed to them in their own state. Following the clients’ laws doesn’t make sense, how can they follow the laws that they were never licensed for? It could be argued that the therapist must be licensed in both their state and the clients state, but that would significantly cut down on the amount of available e-therapists. It’s a pain to get licenses in one state, not many people would willingly go through that all over again. One of the most common roadblocks for online therapy is insurance companies. More insurance companies are starting to cover e-therapy than ever before, but it’s still a struggle and not all are on board just yet. There’s no easy solution to this problem since insurance companies operate on their own. Since this form of therapy is still a relatively new concept it will most likely just take time and more studies that show the benefits before this problem really goes away. The final problem facing e-therapy isn’t something that can be fixed. Medication cannot be prescribed through online therapy. This is
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