A quick review on the Internet-based intervention
The Internet was invented through the 60s when the US government launched the "Arpa" project (Advanced Research Projects Agency). The main aim of this program was to strengthen defensive functions (“The Internet | Encyclopedia.com,” n.d.). Nowadays, using the Internet has many advantages and disadvantages. One of the most notable benefits of using the Internet in psychology is the use of the internet for therapeutic intervention.
The online treatment phenomenon is growing and has recently been very much considered in the world. This kind of technology is tied to technologies called E-Therapy and E-counseling, Cyber-Counseling, and Teletherapy (Chakrabarti, 2015). Online treatment is an online intervention which in this type of treatment, the counselor or psychologist connects with the authorities through the Internet, supports the referral or conveys psychological advice. Online treatment can be done by email, Video, Online Chatting, and unguided method (Chakrabarti, 2015). Online treatment can happen in the same way as talking in a conversation or online chat rooms or by late delivery, for example by sending an email. Remote correspondence between a therapist and a referral is not a new issue. Sigmund Freud used the letter to communicate with his patients (“Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory and the ideas that have followed | Life and style | The Guardian,” n.d.). However, the use of the Internet for self-help purposes in 1982 is for healthcare purposes. Today, there are various mental health services sites that are specialized and somewhat more general.
Several Internet interventions have been developed and tested for common mental disorders, and the evidence to date shows that these treatments often result in similar outcomes as in face-to-face psychotherapy and that they are cost-effective. Internet-based psychological treatments have a relatively short history (Marks, Cavanagh, & Gega, 2007). Nowadays the Internet is widely used by patients and their significant others to seek information about mental health issues. The model of Internet-delivered treatment for which there has been most research activity is Internet-delivered cognitive behavior therapy (ICBT) (Andersson, 2009). However, other forms of psychotherapy (e.g., psychodynamic and interpersonal psychotherapies) have also been delivered via the Internet to a much lesser extent. Through the ICBT, subjects login regularly to a website over a specified period to access, read and download online materials arranged within a series of lessons or modules. They receive preparation tasks which they are expected to complete before the next module is available. They also regularly complete computer-administered questionnaires relevant to their presenting problems, which allows a therapist to control the progress, safety and results. Two dimensions which can be used to categorize ICBT are whether it involves therapist contact and whether it aims to treat mental disorders or prevent their development. Internet interventions that involve therapist contact can be further divided into those that involve real-time (synchronous) or delayed (asynchronous) interaction with patients (Andersson & Titov, 2014).
In a short-review, using this technique has its either advantages and disadvantages, below some of these advantages and disadvantages, are shown:
- It saves time and money;
- Helps people who have a lot of work to do at their free time;
- Although the therapist and the authorities are deprived of face-to-face contact, the therapist does not affect the cultural, class, and social backgrounds;
- It is a good choice for those living in remote areas;
- For those with physical limitations, it is a good option;
- People can easily get information about mental health;
- It is a good option for those who can not afford the cost of traditional therapists and, on the other hand, need treatment.
- This method is not effective in highly critical situations and suicide attempt;
- Those who have severe psychiatric disorders cannot use these services;
- The therapist is deprived of relevant information such as body language and tone and voice;
- The formation of trust and confidence is difficult.
Author: Khodami Mohammad Ahsan
Andersson, G. (2009). Using the Internet to provide cognitive behaviour therapy. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47(3), 175–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BRAT.2009.01.010
Andersson, G., & Titov, N. (2014). Advantages and limitations of Internet-based interventions for common mental disorders. World Psychiatry, 13(1), 4–11. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20083
Chakrabarti, S. (2015). Usefulness of telepsychiatry: A critical evaluation of videoconferencing-based approaches. World Journal of Psychiatry, 5(3), 286. https://doi.org/10.5498/wjp.v5.i3.286
Marks, I., Cavanagh, K., & Gega, L. (2007). Hands-on help. Maudsley monograph no. 49. Retrieved from https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?hl=en&publication_year=2007&author=IM+Marks&author=K+Cavanagh&author=L+Gega&title=Hands‐on+help.+Maudsley+Monograph+no.+49
Psychoanalysis: Freud’s theory and the ideas that have followed | Life and style | The Guardian. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/mar/07/freud-jung-psychoanalysis-behaviour-unconscious
The Internet | Encyclopedia.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2019, from https://www.encyclopedia.com/science-and-technology/computers-and-electrical-engineering/computers-and-computing/internet