n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Cybertherapy : development and usage in the South African context




Cybertherapy, the provision of mental health services via e-mail, video conferencing, virtual reality or chat technology (Manhal-Banguas, 2001) is, as yet undiscovered territory in South African mental health. However, the exponential growth of computerized technology may very well serve as a worthy answer in meeting and possibly alleviating the counselling and mental health needs of South African society. Consequently, familiarity with the unique and particular methods of online therapy is essential. The development of explicit guidelines and rules of conduct is also needed so that practitioners and clients may monitor the ethical status of the services that are provided and received. Professional bodies have a role to play in developing these guidelines, communicating them to the relevant parties and then monitoring its implementation. The dynamics involved in 'cyber-practice' should also be incorporated as part of all graduate psychology programs.


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