How Modern Technology Has Impacted Psychology and Mental Health Care
In recent years, technology has developed extensively and with these advancements have come many opportunities for mental health help and support. The use of video calling applications, for example, can be very useful when a client is unable to attend face-to-face sessions due to work or health reasons, and technology can be very helpful if you live in a part of the world where in-person visits with a counselor or therapist aren’t widely and easily accessed.
You can safely assume that there is not a professional field in the modern world which hasn’t been in some way impacted by technological developments and advancements. From college campuses where students study to the psychologists consulting in the boardrooms of large organizations, the discipline of psychology is no exception. Here are some of the main ways in which technology has changed psychology, counseling, and mental health care.
Advancements in technology have forever changed the way some psychology students are getting their qualifications. Today, there are more options than ever before available to people who want to study to become a counselor or get a degree in psychology, including courses like this online bachelors psychology degree, which is studied through a variety of online classes, online learning resources and online collaboration with other students, without the need to attend in-person classes on campus. Online classes are perhaps one of the biggest changes that have been brought about by technology in psychology education, allowing students the following:
- Easier access to degree-level study for any students, regardless of their location, income level or commitments.
- More freedom for those seeking a career in psychology and counseling to choose from a wider range of degree program options at various schools.
- More flexibility for online research and collaboration with psychology professors, students and professionals around the world.
In addition, technology has made it easier for both campus-based and online psychology students to conduct research, take notes, and connect and collaborate with other students. Modern computers and search engines have made it possible for students to access highly specialized psychology information whenever and wherever they have an internet connection.
Technology and Therapy
Perhaps one of the biggest technological advancements in the world of psychology and therapy is the part it has played in making therapeutic and counseling services more widely available to the public. Along with traditional face-to-face sessions, clients can now access therapy in a variety of ways that have only been made possible through technology, such as:
- Video call counseling sessions
- Telephone counseling
- Webchat counseling
- Text message counseling
- Counseling and mental health support apps and chatbots
Advancements in technology have led to counseling and support being made available with a much wider variety of options to consider rather than traditional face-to-face counseling alone. Options like telephone and video counseling or even web chat sessions have made it easier for certain clients, such as those with anxiety disorders or agoraphobia, to access counseling support much easier. Clients who may have otherwise had trouble getting outside to pay a visit to a therapist no longer need to worry about leaving their home as they can access counseling directly from their smartphone or laptop.
In addition, online and telephone counseling sessions may often be cheaper compared to face-to-face counseling as it may be less costly to the counselor who does not need to rent an office space to meet with clients, and clients can also save money due to the fact that travel is no longer needed.
Patients’ mental, emotional, and physical states of mind can now be both collected and evaluated in many various ways by researchers, practitioners, and even the clients themselves. One such example is stress sensors that use Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), include two electrodes that are applied to the fingers and can differentiate between conductances of the client’s skin, indicating whether or not they are experiencing stress. The data is then sent to a computer and the administrator.
This kind of technology can be very useful in certain settings such as mental health facilities or even in clients’ own homes, where clients can use the stress sensor anywhere providing that they are at a distance of no more than ten meters. Devices can be managed from various devices such as smartphones and televisions, affording the client, patient and practitioner a much greater degree of freedom and allowing for very mild, non-invasive methods of collecting this data. Communication centers can then use the data provided by the device to use varying systems to help the client relax such as dimming the lights or changing the music.
When it comes to psychology, advancements in technology and the internet have changed client care forever.