Friday, July 27, 2007
An Enthusiastic Nod to Online Therapy
Thanks to Azy Barak for pointing me over to this interesting tidbit!
Regina Lynn over at Wired discusses how her 2am restlessness led to seeking counseling online- when her need was the greatest.
"My distress peaked one night and I found myself frantically searching the web for some kind of drop-in crisis counseling chat. I wasn't suicidal, so I didn't want to call a suicide hotline and tie up a volunteer who could be helping someone on the verge of ultimate despair. Yet I felt I would implode if I didn't immediately talk to someone neutral and anonymous...The wee hours are when we are too tired to filter ourselves, when we are most vulnerable to dropping our shields and exposing our rawest truths -- which so often, and I dare you to prove otherwise, revolve around love and sex."
Regina Lynn goes on to share that writing is often more a natural way to communicate rather than talking...sometimes it is harder to stay engaged with your full self, rather than worrying about what, or how you are presenting to a therapist (my interpretation). As Ms. Lynn said, online therapy is like a "diary that writes back." And we all know that you certainly write things differently in a diary than in a regular conversation, even about the same subject.
Lynn states, "If connecting online feels natural and right to you, the internet is a natural place to seek therapy. You're already accustomed to peer support through online interaction; why wouldn't you reach for a professional in the same way?" Lynn contacted Susan Mankita, a social worker with ten years experience in the field who commented, "(Online counseling) teaches clients to be aware of what's coming out of their mouths, what they're feeling and thinking, their wholeness and whole bodies," Mankita said. "It's an exciting and empowering thing that we haven't done in the past (in person) the way we can with text. Text is really powerful."