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Psychotherapy via the Internet: What Programs Do Psychotherapists Use, How Well-Informed Do They Feel, and What Are Their Wishes for Continuous Education?

1
Department for Psychotherapy and Biopsychosocial Health, Danube University Krems, 3500 Krems, Austria
2
Austrian Federal Association for Psychotherapy, 1030 Vienna, Austria
3
Viktor Frankl Education Austria (ABILE), 3390 Melk, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218182
Received: 16 October 2020 / Revised: 1 November 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 / Published: 5 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clincial Psychology and Psychotherapy)
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes in the provision of psychotherapy around the world. The common format of delivering in-person psychotherapy is replaced by psychotherapy via the Internet to a great extent. This study examined how well Austrian psychotherapists feel informed about the use of the Internet in psychotherapy, where additional information needs exist, and which software is used. A link to an online survey was sent to all psychotherapists providing a valid email address in the official list of licensed psychotherapists at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in Austria. A total of 1547 people took part in the survey. The results show that psychotherapy via the Internet was primarily offered via Skype and Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the majority of the therapists felt well-informed about psychotherapy via the Internet; however, several therapists stated that they wish to have further information on data protection and security. Overall, the study shows that Austrian psychotherapists coped well with the rapid change from the provision of psychotherapy through personal contact to psychotherapy via the Internet. Security and data protection aspects of therapy via the Internet should be addressed in training and further education of psychotherapists. As this study was conducted online, it might have caused some respondent bias towards a higher participation of psychotherapists with higher preference for new technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychotherapy; internet; COVID-19; software; information needs psychotherapy; internet; COVID-19; software; information needs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Humer, E.; Stippl, P.; Pieh, C.; Schimböck, W.; Probst, T. Psychotherapy via the Internet: What Programs Do Psychotherapists Use, How Well-Informed Do They Feel, and What Are Their Wishes for Continuous Education? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8182. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218182

AMA Style

Humer E, Stippl P, Pieh C, Schimböck W, Probst T. Psychotherapy via the Internet: What Programs Do Psychotherapists Use, How Well-Informed Do They Feel, and What Are Their Wishes for Continuous Education? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):8182. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218182

Chicago/Turabian Style

Humer, Elke; Stippl, Peter; Pieh, Christoph; Schimböck, Wolfgang; Probst, Thomas. 2020. "Psychotherapy via the Internet: What Programs Do Psychotherapists Use, How Well-Informed Do They Feel, and What Are Their Wishes for Continuous Education?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 21: 8182. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218182

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