If we have experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma in the early part of our lives we may, as adults, have many unresolved issues relating to this that can manifest themselves in psychological conditions such as, for example, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, intense feelings of shame, self-hatred, addictions, self-harm, dissociation, relationship problems, hypervigilance and emotional dysregulation (and this is not an exhaustive list). Indeed. in severe cases the adverse effect upon our psyche may have been so profound that we have gone on to develop a personality disorder (such as borderline personality disorder, often abbreviated to BPD). All of these conditions, together with explanations as to how they are linked to the experience of childhood trauma, are covered on this website (see MAIN MENU at the top of this page).
And if indeed, we have been unfortunate enough to have incurred psychological damage as a result of our dysfunctional childhood, we may well require some form of therapy such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) (see MAIN MENU above and click on THERAPIES AND SELF-HELP to view the numerous articles that I have previously published about these and many other types of therapy). However, in this article, I am going to focus specifically on the topic of online therapy.
We have already seen from other articles that I have previously published on this site that online therapy has numerous advantages, and, for the sake of convenience, I will very briefly list them again here :
– direct (i.e. physical, face-to-face) contact with a therapist is not required which may be particularly beneficial for those suffering from social phobia or agoraphobia in the initial part of their treatment
– cost, inconvenience, and time involved in travel is avoided
– instant access is often available to online therapy services (e.g. by SMS text – see below)
– therapy is available from anywhere in the world as long as we have access to an internet connection and a device (laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc)
– often, it is less costly and less time consuming to undertake online therapy than it is to undertake face-to-face therapy
What Specific Methods Can Online Therapy Incorporate?
The specific methods used will depend upon the particular online therapy website you choose to use; however, in general, the main methods are as follows :
- SMS texting: SMS texts can be used both for communication between ourselves and our therapist and also as a means for delivering applications which the therapist may consider helpful to us during the course of our therapy.
- Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CCBT) – the use of this system has increased since it was endorsed by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) as an effective means of treatment.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and videoconferencing
- Websites – there are a plethora of websites that our therapist might direct us to, depending on the nature of our particular psychological condition, to help us learn about, and gain insight into, our problems (this is sometimes referred to as psychoeducation
- Therapeutic Computer Games – such therapeutic games are currently in their infancy but will be of increasing benefit (particularly to adolescents) in the future
- Therapeutic Virtual Reality Environments and Avatars are also set to become more available in the future.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).