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Social Media in the Therapy Session

     

Digital communications – text messages, Facebook, Instagram, other social media – are a big part of most of our everyday lives. In a recent study, researchers are looking at how these electronic communications are being used in therapy sessions. Researchers at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School surveyed clinicians, primarily psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed clinical social workers, providing outpatient psychotherapy at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.

Overall, they found that incorporating social media into psychotherapy practice was common. Just over 60% of the therapists surveyed said they had viewed at least one patient’s social or electronic media as a part of psychotherapy. The types of electronic communications viewed by the clinicians included text messages, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, call history and email. In most instances (74%), viewing the electronic communications in therapy was at the patient’s suggestion.