Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Sarah M. Ferguson

Abstract

Technology Assisted Therapy can be considered any form of therapy that uses technology as a mediating force. This could include things such as videoconferencing or Skype, online support groups, text messaging or other media devices. As technology becomes more and more influential in our society, it only makes sense that it would seep into the clinical social work setting and the therapy setting. There is little current research on this topic that focuses on what clinicians think about this developing trend. This study set out to determine clinical social workers’ perspectives on the use of technology assisted methods in therapy. A survey was sent to practicing clinical social workers in the state of Minnesota asking questions about their experience with technology assisted methods, positives and negatives of these methods, their willingness to use these methods in their own practice and whether they believed these methods might affect the role of stigma surrounding mental health treatment seeking. The findings showed a great deal of ambivalence and uncertainty about this topic. Findings were also consistent with the research, citing concerns about the therapeutic relationship and pointing out the benefits of wider accessibility. It is clear that more research is needed on this topic. The field of social work has considerable growth to accomplish in this area.

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