SEE a therapist without leaving your home?
In an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Thomas F. Dwyer, a Massachusetts psychiatrist, says he has practiced “telepsychiatry,” via video teleconferencing, for five years. Its “adoption by psychiatrists and patients,” he predicts, “will proceed quickly if the organizers cope with the irrational responses of some users.”
But wait: That article appeared almost 40 years ago. It told how microwave television signals were used to connect a satellite clinic to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Today, even with the rise of the Internet, virtual therapy hasn’t been widely adopted. But several start-up companies are trying to make Dr. Dwyer’s decades-old vision a workaday reality.
Therapy delivered over the Internet, says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist and staff member of the American Psychological Association, “may open access to those who might be reluctant to go to an office or to those who might be physically or psychologically unable to.”
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