Cybertherapy for New Zealand’s Youth

Cybertherapy Program Launched in NZ

I have a few great passions:  Relationships, Family, Psychology, the American Southwest, and Technology. 

Cybertherapy is the intersection of technology and Psychology and it’s been getting a lot of my attention lately. I just finished teaching a college course called “Virtual Selves” about this very topic. Today, I am posting about a program in New Zealand, that was recently launched, that uses cybertherapy to target troubled teens.  Its proponents claim that they are meeting youth ‘where they are at’—online, and in cyberspace.
One of the leading Journals
 in the Cybertherapy Field

Cybertherapy, sometimes referred to as ‘e-therapy’ is a close cousin to ‘telepsychology’ or, the “provision of psychotherapy services over the phone”.  The most central difference is that cybertherapy utilizes other forms of technology to reach a larger audience.  Important advantages include that cybertherapy has the ability to access individuals who previously could not be reached (for example, folks in rural areas), individuals who have problems with their mobility, and folks with transportation problems.  Another advantage is that research has shown that people tend to open up more, when talking to a professional online.  This is sometimes referred to as the “disinhibition effect”, and it’s the same phenomenon that occurs when individuals give you “TMI” on their Facebook post.

Have a look at this article.  I’d be willing to bet that, in ten years, a good many practitioners are offering some variety of online services.  I think it’s incredible that they have this program in New Zealand, and hope that the US and Denmark begin to offer more of such services.

Feel free to post a comment if you have concerns about this new trend.