(Inter)personal computing: the role of the therapeutic relationship in e-mental health

Cavanagh, Kate and Millings, Abigail (2013) (Inter)personal computing: the role of the therapeutic relationship in e-mental health. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 43 (4). pp. 197-206. ISSN 0022-0116

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Abstract

E-mental health technologies are rapidly expanding the reach of psychological interventions around the globe. There is a growing evidence base supporting the potential benefits of these new technologies for psychological and behavioural health. Most of this evidence to date has focused on evaluating the feasibility and outcomes from such interventions, whilst limited research has begun to explore the change processes associated with their impact. In traditional psychological therapies the quality of common factors, including the therapeutic relationship, are widely held to be important for engagement and outcomes. E-mental health interventions present a challenge to the importance of these factors, as therapeutic interactions are typically remote, limited, or even absent in the case of fully automated e-mental health programmes. This paper explores the role of the therapeutic relationship in e-mental health. Where measured, it appears that the relationship is fairly robust to distance and limited contact, but may be less intimately associated with therapy outcomes than in traditional therapies. Where the intervention comprises little or no therapeutic contact, we explore how some of the variance in engagement and outcomes may still be accounted for by common and relational factors offered through a supportive frame or embedded within the technologies themselves. Implications for theory, research and practice are presented.

(Inter)personal Computing: The Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in E-mental Health (PDF Download Available). Available from: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/255908175_(Inter)personal_Computing_The_Role_of_the_Therapeutic_Relationship_in_E-mental_Health [accessed Oct 14, 2015].

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2015 07:51
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2015 07:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/57140
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