Date of Award

5-2015

Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Interdisciplinary Program

Advisor

Elizabeth DePoy

Second Committee Member

Stephen Gilson

Third Committee Member

Claire Sullivan

Abstract

This study was conducted to describe the type of technology use in email- augmented psychotherapy and to examine the relationship among emergent technology use variables and the therapeutic alliance. Sixty-two adults receiving email-augmented psychotherapy participated. The research design applied quantitative techniques with the use of both a demographic/clinical survey and the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Form and qualitative data collection methods through the use of semi-structured interviews with 41 of the participants. The results of this study provide important findings about the type of and comfort with technology use, specifically for theorizing factors that clinicians should assess in order to guide the integration of technology into their practices to augment face-to-face psychotherapy. While the direct association between working alliance and technology use variables was minimal, testing complex relationships is indicated to provide an empirical basis to inform providers’ contemporary practice harnessing technology to improve treatment access and efficacy. The results reveal information that, when structured, can help providers initiate systematic interview protocols with clients during the process of selecting which communication technology mediums might be most beneficial to use to enhance treatment outcomes. Thus, the study highlights the critical need for development of rigorous evaluation instruments to guide therapists in how best to use technology in their practices with the greatest effect.

Comments

Interdisciplinary in Disability Studies and Social Work

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