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Turning On and Tuning Out: New Technology, Image, Analysis

By Chris Hauke


There was a time when the answer-phone was thought too alienating for patients; now there is the question of whether therapists feel OK being paid by electronic bank transfer. Since the start of modern psychotherapy, new communications technology—the telephone, radio, TV, and now electronic messaging—have become universally accessible. The question arises: do email, texts and the mobile (cell-phone) enhance and enable communication or do they merely offer the fantasy of doing so? Equally, can computer simulations and software diagnostic and treatment programmes offer anything to mental health practice? Furthermore, since the mid-nineteenth century, the technology of visual communication, in particular, paralleled the development of psychodynamic theory and practice. Nowadays, photographic images have become so prevalent and available that clients can bring pictures in many forms. They also bring movies, movie-scenes and characters, either in description or to show, and these may constitute the images and material of analysis in some cases just as dreams always have done. How are we to respond to these unconventional communications of our clients' emotional lives? Are they legitimate expressions of their inner worlds? This paper discusses the influence of the new technologies of communication with a special focus on the place of film themes and images in psychotherapy and analytic sessions

Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2009
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