Are you familiar with the word, “technophobia?” Even if this is a term you’ve never encountered before, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it means almost exactly what it sounds like…a fear of technology. For the sake of this article, let’s downgrade the word “fear” a bit, to “concern.” Because THAT sounds a lot more rational…right? Concern about the unknown − and more specifically, how technology will impact your life, and work – feels appropriate, and even commonplace.
Technophobia is rampant in my family. I can still remember the many times my mother would inquire, “How do I use this DVD remote again?” as she glared at it distastefully. She would also solicit assistance when she couldn’t remember how to access the voicemail on her cell phone, and on more than one occasion, threw up her hands in dismay, lamenting “this stuff…it’s just TOO complicated!” My mother’s aversion to all things technology frequently pops into my mind when I hear similar comments from school administrators, Special Education Directors, teachers, and even parents, anytime “teletherapy” enters the conversation. Truth be told, the first time I heard that therapy services could be delivered via the Internet, I thought to myself, “How in the world do you maintain a young client’s interest enough to keep him/her seated in front of a computer screen? How could online therapy possibly be as effective as on-site, face-to-face therapy?”
As I was soon to discover, my “concerns” were unjustified. So…I thought it might be helpful if I share my 3 greatest trepidations, along with what I ultimately came to learn about each.
Ultimately − it was my lack of knowledge and experience with teletherapy that created my, “Teletherapy Technophobia.” Once I learned about teletherapy: how it is provided, how the students are motivated by it, and how student progress can meet − or even surpass − that of face-to-face therapy…I was convinced! And now (after several years of deep online therapy immersion!) I can unequivocally state that teletherapy is a valid, effective, and efficient method that offers therapy options to students who might otherwise not have access to the services they need.
TheraWeb Clinical Manager