Marriage and Family Therapists’ Use and Comfort with Online Communication with Clients
Despite the growth in computer and Internet use, marriage and family therapists’ (MFT) use of such technologies to communicate with clients has received limited attention. The purpose of the current research was to understand the frequency and ways in which MFTs are communicating online with clients and identify their level of comfort with online treatments. We administered a survey to practicing MFTs across the US to identify the frequency with which they used online communications with their clients, and the extent to which they felt comfortable using online communications in various treatment modalities. Implications for research, training, and practice are discussed.
KeywordsMarriage and family therapy Technology Cyber Practice
This project was funded by the Alaska Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
- Best, M. L., & Maclay, C. M. (2002). Community internet access in rural areas: Solving the economic sustainability puzzle. In G. Kirkman, J. Sachs, K. Schwab, & P. Corneilus (Eds.), The global information technology report 2001–2002: Readiness for the networked world (pp. 76–89). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Fischer, H. H., Moore, S. L., Ginosar, D., Davidson, A. J., Rice-Peterson, C. M., Durfee, M. J., et al. (2012). Care by cell phone: Text messaging for chronic disease management. American Journal of Managed Care, 18(2), 42–47.Google Scholar
- Grubaugh, A. L., Cain, G. D., Elhai, J. D., Patrick, S. L., & Frueh, C. B. (2008). Attitudes toward medical and mental health care delivered via telehealth applications among rural and urban primary care patients. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196(2), 166–170. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318162aa2d.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hailey, D., Roine, R., & Ohinmaa, A. (2008). The effectiveness of telemental health applications: A review. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 53(11), 769–778.Google Scholar
- Harwood, T. M., & L’Abate, L. (2009). Self-help in mental health: A critical review. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Menachemi, N., Prickett, C. T., & Brooks, R. G. (2011). The use of physician-patient email: A follow-up examination of adoption and best-practice adherence 2005–2008. Journal of Medical Internet research, 13(1), e23. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1578.
- National Board of Certified Counselors. (2008). The practice of Internet counseling. Greensboro, NC: Center for Credentialing and Education, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.nbcc.org/Assets/Ethics/internetCounseling.pdf.
- Petrie, K. J., Perry, K., Broadbent, E., & Weinman, J. (2012b). A text message programme designed to modify patients’ illness and treatment beliefs improves self-reported adherence to asthma preventer medication. British Journal of Health Psychology, 17(1), 74–84. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8287.2011.02033.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ruskin, P. E., Silver-Aylaian, M., Kling, M. A., Reed, S. A., Bradham, D. D., Hebel, J. R., et al. (2004). Treatments outcomes in depression: Comparison of remote treatment through telepsychiatry to in-person treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(8), 1471–1476. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.161.8.1471.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Singh, H., Fox, S. A., Petersen, N. J., Shethia, A., & Street Jr, R. L. (2009). Older patients’ enthusiasm to use electronic mail to communicate with their physicians: cross-sectional survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 11(2). doi: 10.2196/jmir.1143.
- Stockwell, M. S., Kharbanda, E. O., Martinez, R. A., Lara, M., Vawdrey, D., Natarajan, K., et al. (2012). Text4Health: Impact of text message reminder-recalls for pediatric and adolescent immunizations. American Journal of Public Health, 102(2), e15–e21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300331.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Virji, A., Yarnall, K. S. H., Krause, K. M., Pollak, K. I., Scannell, M. A., Gradison, M., et al. (2006). Use of email in a family practice setting: opportunities and challenges in patient- and physician-initiated communication. BMC Medicine, 4, 18–27. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-4-18.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Watkins, D. C., Smith, L. C., Kerber, K., Kuebler, J., & Himle, J. A. (2011). Email reminders as a self-management tool in depression: a needs assessment to determine patients’ interests and preferences. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 17(7), 378–381. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2011.110105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiersma, J. E., Titov, N., VanSchaik, D. J. F., Van Oppen, P., Beekman, A. T. F., Culjpers, P., et al. (2011). Treating chronic symptoms of depression in the virtual clinic: Findings on chronicity of depression in patients treated with internet-based computerized cognitive behavior therapy for depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. doi: 10.1159/000323167.PubMedGoogle Scholar