I work with Dr. Leora Trub with the topic of Technology in the Frame of Therapy. An overview of our study is as follows:
When in psychotherapy or really any type of therapy there are rules and boundaries set in place in order for things to run smoothly and have each patient feel safe to work through their struggles, this is what we call the therapeutic frame. But there are things that could be a possible risk to this frame, such as technology, which has proven to be an issue with ones own personal confidentiality in life, when it comes to the accessibility technology gives us. If that is a concern in our own lives, think of the type of repercussions it could have with those in therapy wanting to keep that part of their lives separated from the rest of the world. What this study looks at is how technology poses such a threat and what have practitioners done and what they feel with technology and how possibly accessible or inaccessible they or their patients are to each other.
I have been with this study from day one and since then have been actively involved in it’s work: from the earliest of stages with it’s concept and how to create the interview questions and professional questionnaire for the participating psychologists to the transcribing and coding of the current stages. With this study we have gone through a few different drafts of questionaries to be sure every question we wanted to ask was asked as well as interview criteria for each member of the lab to follow in interviews with professionals in the field. We are now in the stage of specific coding using the specific, axial, and open coding method.
My personal involvement with this project has been mostly transcribing and coding the interviews we have already collected. At this point we have about twenty seven participants and interviews, about 13 of which have been transcribed and are currently in their coding stages. I have learned transcribing and coding while in this lab and on this project and have enjoyed it very much. Through these interviews we have found a mix of reactions to technology and psychotherapy as well as the boundaries set in place by each professional. Some have a strict policy of accessibility while others have more of a twenty four / seven policy for their patients. This has proven to be very interesting as well as a possible trend we may see with age, but that is inconclusive at this point and time while we are still transcribing, coding, and interviewing. At this point in the study we are developing our data and will be continuing to do so until we find a sufficient sample size.
Something I have taken away from this research so far has been truly how important the frame is and keeping your personal frame with your patients in place. This is crucial for the confidentiality of both patient and therapist and the therapeutic relationship. This study has shown me the kind of frame I want to set in place when I am a practitioner myself. Another thing I have found interesting and learn through this study has been with skype. Skype is not considered HIPPA compliant for the company records and stores every conversation you have to be accessed at any point. This raises concern for those who may use skype form time to time to speak with patients under special circumstances or even normal circumstances sometimes. That was probably the biggest shock to me in all of this; how much of what we use in life is actually potentially harmful to the therapeutic process and frame.