Who doesn’t love tech? It keeps us connected, helps us find information on the spot, lets us pay bills at 3am and impulsively buy eBooks (I have about 30 books on my Kindle that I have yet to start reading). The great thing about being a tech savvy therapist is that you can anticipate some unintended uses of technology by your clients struggling with anxiety and avoidance.
Obviously, Google searches and checking email repeatedly can become a problem for clients with health anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder and most therapists remember to ask their clients about their behaviour online. Fewer therapists are aware of how technology can be used as a form of avoidance that keep clients stuck even though they are going through the motions of facing their fears.
In order to overcome most types of anxiety, the rule is approach – don’t avoid. If you stay in the anxiety provoking situation long enough while nothing bad is happening to you, your body cannot stay afraid and you will lose your fear of previously dreaded situations and triggers.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of TILT Magazine ~ Therapeutic Innovations in Light of Technology.
Click here to read the entire PDF version of the Technically Avoiding the Situation article.
Christine Korol, PhD, is a cartoonist psychologist in private practice in Calgary, Canada, and the host/producer of a podcast on WiredToWorry.com that provides free online anxiety and stress reduction education videos.
Access TILT Magazine archives: http://issuu.com/onlinetherapyinstitute/docs