As information technology continues to develop with more people getting exposed to it, numerous changes are also taking place the field of psychology. Previously, many IT analysts frequently argued that psychology was taking longer than enough to implement and adopt technological advancements. However, recent researches indicate that the practices and methods applied in psychology have greatly transformed as a result of changes in information technology. First, the internet has been one of the major latest trends in psychology; it is highly associated with psychopathology (Wilson 2004).
For instance, depression and loneliness have often been connected to the excess use of the internet since it results to addiction. Secondly, there is the use of information technology in counseling and psychotherapy. This is currently being done via the internet; this has resulted to some lack of privacy and confidentiality as well as loss of effectiveness in the practice since some important features such as facial expression and verbal expression has been lost (Wilson 2004).
IT is also applied in research and development in psychology to enhance further growth and generation of useful knowledge. For instance, the authors of the current DSM IV-TR applied computerized criteria in revising the classification of disorders in the manual to come with a less flawless criterion of categorizing disorders and disabilities. Using IT, today’s psychotherapists have been able to make numerous improvements in the way through which they can reach, counsel and correspond with their clients (discussed in the next section) (Azucena, Hunter, 2001).
The growth of Psychotherapy Psychotherapy refers to private individual counseling by professional psychotherapists. As a highly growing trend in psychology, psychotherapy is used by psychotherapists to assist them in developing deliberate interpersonal relationships with their clients as a strategy for helping the patient to improve their well being. The trend applies many modern techniques of building closer relationships with the patients such as face to face dialogues, home phone calls and regular visits of the therapist to the client (Azucena, Hunter, 2001).
This trend is basically aimed at improving the mental health of the patient through interpersonal relationships. This represents a great shift in the nature of counseling psychology, psychiatry, occupational therapy, clinical psychology and other related fields in psychology. In essence, psychotherapy is not a new trend in the field of psychology since over the years, people have received private reassurance and counsel from others; what is new and becoming increasingly famous in psychology is the application of modern and deliberate professional techniques in psychotherapy.
Such psychotherapeutic techniques include online counseling whereby a therapist handles client personally through creating client accounts where he can easily relate with the client on one-on-one(but not face-to-face) bases (Tredinnick, Fowers, 1999). Most of the new psychotherapeutic techniques are possible because of the advancements in the use of information technology in the field of psychology as discussed above. For instance, therapists encourage clients to use social networks to be able to communicate easily with them and their families.
In addition, they also approve the use of phone calls whereby clients are free to call their physicians at any time of the day so that they can discuss their issues at convenience. However, modern psychotherapy is not without a number of flaws. Recently, concerns have greatly risen concerning the advancement of individualism in psychotherapy (Tredinnick, Fowers, 1999). Psychotherapy encourages individualism on both the therapist and the client.
Individualism is a term used in psychology to refer to ways through which people recognize themselves only and concentrate on individual goals as opposed to collectivism. In this sense, psychotherapist no longer view psychotherapy as a collective discipline that require combined efforts with other experts in the field since they are in a position to carry out counseling and psychiatry without involving anybody else—they can visit their clients at home, chat with them online and make home phone class with them.
This has resulted to a great decline in the success of psychology as a collective discipline (Tredinnick, Fowers, 1999; Azucena, Hunter, 2001). Conclusion The use IT in psychology and the advancement in psychotherapy are important developments in psychology and should be highly encouraged. However, it is upon therapists and other psychological professionals to ensure that this new trends are used effectively to prevent the decline evident in cooperation among professional bodies in the field of psychology due to individualism.
References Azucena, P. G. , Hunter, H. G. (2001) Redefining Therapeutic Success with Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, Cyber-psychology & Behavior, 4(3), pp. 484-489. Fowers, B. J. , Tredinnick, M. G. (1999). Individualism and psychotherapy; are psychologists leading or following individualistic trends? Counseling, Psychology Quarterly, 12(3): pp. 303-313 Wilson, J. T. et al (2004). Current trends in psychology and the behavioral sciences. University of Pittsburgh press: Pittsburgh, PA.