By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Apr 25, 2006

Text messaging in psychotherapy

From Smart Mobs 

Instant messaging, favored by chatting teens and office gossips, is a growing tool for therapists counseling people on everything from smoking cessation to sexual-abuse trauma, reports the Pioneer Press.

Proponents say the text-based conversations are appealing because they're fast and anonymous — users can log onto a number of online services and connect with therapists who know them only by screen names. But many in the mental-health community say the format is too impersonal for effective treatment and should be only an adjunct to face-to-face counseling.

... Text messaging, critics say, doesn't allow therapists to pick up on important visual cues to a patient's true state of mind.

"What one gleans as a psychiatrist in a clinical assessment is not just from the words one says but from the emotions," says Paul Appelbaum, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University and past president of the American Psychiatric Association. He says doctors need to assess the way a person walks, sits, smiles or tears up.

The comments are closed.