Online e-mail consultations afford clients the opportunity to address specific issues that are pressing and require professional insight for constructive resolution. Cyber consultations do not replace the significant work achieved in face to face psychotherapy over several months and sometimes years. Rather it sets out to provide short term insight oriented guidance and crisis management. Typically an email response will draw on therapeutic framework and clinical experience to provide solution oriented resolution that addresses destructive coping and defense mechanisms. Specific referrals may be suggested and attention is drawn to support structures available in the environment.
Significant advances in communication technology are providing clients with a level of connectivity that has never before been experienced. The explosive growth of friendly communication sited such as FACEBOOK and MYSPACE are evidence of this connectivity. This advance follows on the tail of the sad disappearance of extended families and village members working together largely for the good of all. Geographical distance, pursuit of careers and education places family members and friends thousands of miles apart. As a result many of my clients feels disconnected and alienated from their environment. As human beings we are wired to draw on the support of other when we are faced with stressors. Consequently people turn to mind altering substances to escape their reality of feeling alone, depressed, anxious or shamed.
In the eighties and nineties support groups were hugely helpful to provide the much needed connectivity for persons facing loss and mental health challenges. Groups addressing bereavement, depression, addiction, anxiety, parenting, relationship struggles are examples. In this new and accelerated millennium, clients are experiencing difficulty accessing such groups due to conflicts with time, travel and resource. Increasingly people faced with difficulty are turning to the internet to find solutions. On line forums provide members with the advantages of group support and collective wisdom and healing that come with sharing. Of course just as in the case of a physical support group, a mental health professional carefully manages the process of discussion to ensure constructive communication.