[Current Topics in Psychology]


American Psychological Association
110th Annual Convention - Chicago
August 22-25, 2002

These edited reports were originally posted to the Current Topics, Therapy Online, and Cyberpsychology list-servs, August 2002.   [Full Text]

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INDEX OF 2002 APA Convention Articles:
CyberSex & Cyber-Infidelity | Beck & Ellis 2002 | Behavior Therapy | CyberPsychology | E-Ethics
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"Asynchronously Live from Chicago"

This year I was once again quite busy preparing for my own presentation as well as organizing the necessary technology for the symposium and making an effort both to connect with new and long-time friends and colleagues and also to attend at least a sampling of the newly-compacted convention's stellar offerings across the many areas of psychology which most interest me. Some of the presenters I'd planned on seeing cancelled, and despite the new strategy of thematic track scheduling, there were still many good presentations on similar topics scheduled for the exact same time. (APA - We *really* need the option of having sessions taped in order to fully appreciate the range of options and presenters on hand at these huge conventions!)

A very big THANK YOU to APA's Independent Practice division (who originally sponsored my symposium), to Candy Won (APA convention coordinator), and especially to APA President Phil Zimbardo for recognizing the importance of integrating online phenomena into the fold of mainstream psychology and inviting me to chair a plenary session on this topic. I offer a huge THANK YOU to my co-presenters, John Suler, Dave Nickelson, and Azy Barak for making this a very special event, and to all who came to join us.

With apologies once again for offering only a few selected articles, here are some reports of selected events from this year's APA convention, described "asynchronously live" immediately following the presentations, and which it is my pleasure to share.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Today marked the official opening of the 110th Convention of the American Psychological Association here in Chicago, and unlike the past few days of sunshine the day began with thunderstorms and flooding in much of the area. For most of the 10,000 psychologists here for the event, this meant catching a bus from hotel to the huge convention center, and perhaps hiking across the center to find the right location. In this new, condensed format attendees often need to get from one event to the next in just a few minutes, and it can be quite challenging, this sprawling McCormick Center. My 2 cents on that aspect!

Now today's asynchronously live report from APA. Why do I call it that? It's happening now, as I write, or I file the report shortly thereafter, far before it makes it to print. My goal is to try to give you a sense of what is happening, *as* it's happening, but it's just asynchronous enough for readers to be able to take it in at a good time and place, from the comfort of your favorite spot. :-)

One last quick comment .... This year I'll be writing less and spending more time preparing for and doing my own presentation, which like this report, is going to be live and interactive. With great panelists, and my annual prayers to the spirits of technology that things go smoothly. I will be trying to attend several technology meets psychology symposia as well as a sampling of some of the other areas of academic, research and practice which interest me, and hopefully others "here".

[Apropos: anyone interested in defining where "here" is in cyberspace can find many articles about this online, including mine at
www.fenichel.com/herenow.shtml ].

Clearly I tend to focus on some of the more "fun" topics for myself, as well as those (like 2000's great
Beck-Ellis dialogue) which I think are both important and informative, and I mean no disrespect for other areas of great importance, ranging from developmental to organizational to community psychology, school, clinical, counseling, psychoanalysis, etc. Of course these are all integral parts of psychology, but one can only do so many symposia, paper presentations, special events, etc. at one time, and there are hundreds of events to choose from every day, and being human I like to choose some enjoyable topics and also some of the presenters and special concerns which are important to me.

This year a major emphasis is on how "psychology makes a significant difference" in understanding and helping the human condition.

OK, here comes opening day at APA, after the quick disclaimer that I do my best with note-taking to be accurate in terms of statistics, quotes, and attribution, but I also welcome any corrections....


Asynchronously Live from APA
110th Convention - August 22, 2002
Chicago, IL

Paper Session#1127: Cyber Infidelity and Other Internet-Related Problems

I enjoyed listening to Marlene Maheu provide an overview of how online behavior can have very real consequences for existing relationships, along with some general discussion (supported by some cute cartoons) of how given the anonymity of the Internet one cannot necessarily trust the veracity of words or appearances. Dr. Maheu began by asking her audience how many practitioners see patients in their practice who present Internet-related issues during the course of treatment. Most hands went up. Asked how many patients first identify Internet-related problems as a presenting issue, very few hands were raised. (Of course, most office practices are going to reflect "normal daily life" in the 21st Century, a point I will be making in my presentation Saturday, and daily life now, according to numerous studies, involves many aspects of social and informational surfing via online technology. For me the interesting point is that just as online relationships may be the topic of discussion in face-to-face therapy sessions, people may go online to talk about their daily lives *offline*, and sometimes people may choose one over the other as being more "real" or more ideal.)

Dr. Maheu touched upon the need to develop better information and definitions on a number of dimensions, such as "addiction" versus "dependency", and "infidelity". She mentioned her book on the latter topic (Maheu & Subotnik) and suggested that "Cyber Infidelity occurs when a partner in a committed relationship uses the computer or the Internet to violate promises, vows, or agreements concerning sexual exclusiveness." She cited a need to have consensus on what those agreements may be, and how they may be violated online. Dr. Maheu noted that her own research indicates a majority of cultures may be acceptant of polygamy. But notwithstanding this, she also envisioned a time when existing and evolving virtual reality technology will allow direct physical stimulation between say, a gyrating Madonna and someone wired on the other end of the connection to directly experience the sensation. Returning to the focus on infidelity, she asked what may constitute this under different circumstances. "As technology comes along", Dr. Maheu said, "we're going to have to define that [Cyber Infidelity]."

Maheu cited the June 2000 MSNBC Study (Al Cooper) which suggested based on a large-scale survey that 45% of women view "cybersex" as infidelity, while 40% of men held that view, virtually the same across gender. However, over 1/2 of the women respondents (56.3%) have gone online to educate themselves about sexual matters, while less than 1/2 of men (31.3%) were looking for information. Nearly one in nine males surveyed (8.8%) said that their primary reason to be online was for online sexual activity. Dr. Maheu also cited some statistics about online workplace access to pornography, and noted how employers are increasingly concerned and initiating monitoring, sometimes leading to humiliating termination of employees. Apparently, some workers spend time at work pursuing their "addiction" (hobby?) online.

Citing Dana Putnam, Ph.D., Dr. Maheu described two primary groups which she described as solitary users versus relational. The solitary user looks online for static images, audio/video presentations, text-based sexual content (such as stories), and virtual reality. The relational user may be looking for static images, but of self and others, via email, accompanied by audio or video teleconferencing. She likened this to phone sex, and described how she has heard many women describe a tremendous sense of power in (safely) being able to evoke such reactions from partners. Dr. Maheu also noted the phenomenon of stalking and also how many women report encounters with men who tend to aggressively pursue sexually-related activities via e-mail, such as discussions of dressing or undressing.

I would like to add two brief comments here. First, there is interesting research out there to suggest very different ways of looking at the Internet across nationality and gender in other parts of the world, and Cyberspace is increasingly a "global community" with opportunity and challenge to respectfully and accurately relate with others across cultures, ages, languages, etc. This might play an increasing role, along with online "disinhibition", in people falling in love, initiating relationships which may not be reciprocal, and perhaps bringing about hurt in more ways than "Cyber Infidelity". Secondly, another factor is little discussed but seems to me profoundly important, an "intervening variable" for the empiricists. This is the factor identified by Pew International in March 2002, using data from its ongoing longitudinal research into online behavior, as "the seven minute drop-off".

I'm going to expand on this (maybe) during my own presentation, but in brief what the Pew Internet and American Life project found was a surprising tapering off of time spent online. Interesting, when they teased out the data what they concluded is that people are spending less time online (slightly) but doing more things during their time online. They didn't mention a number of alternative hypotheses (e.g., broadband's increasing use which allows for quicker downloading of information) but the report did suggest something even more intriguing. It is felt that what we are seeing is the greening of the "newbie" phenomenon, of "gee whiz, this is great stuff" and the infatuation with surfing for everything (which men do more than women, btw).

The theory which they suggest, supported by the data, is that there are simply more experienced web surfers now who know what they want, and how to get it, whether it's communication or information. This fits very nicely also with related issue of "paradoxical" anxiety and depression which was postulated by the Carnegie- Mellon project and then refuted by LaRose et al in 2002 (Journal of Online Behavior,
www.behavior.net/job/v1n2/paradox.html). They looked closely at the original study suggesting Internet use *causes* depression and concluded that what was being measured was the state of first exposure to Internet technology by people just arriving at college and without their own computers. A social cognitive explanation was offered for "The Internet Paradox" which notes that there is a steep learning curve involved and the role of self-efficacy is a key factor in responding to the demands of learning to relate online. But newbies are rarer and rarer now, with the majority of Americans online, at ever-earlier ages, with teens who grew up and "don't know anything else" as one told me. So I would propose that in discussing 1999-2000 demographics one needs to think also now in terms of a society which is two years further along, with a shrinking subset of "newbies" and less anxiety about the technology. Less discomfort, less inhibition, and Cyberspace is the perfect place to play out all kinds of quests, fantasies, and "infidelities". Again, the Internet becomes integrated as a part of everyday life, and thus part of human psychology. :-)


110th APA Convention
August 23, 2002

Today's opening session began with rousing song from Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago. Philip Zimbardo, APA President and legendary social psychologist, welcomed the audience, stated the signature theme of psychology being a proud profession which can truly make a significant difference in people's lives, and introduced Rev. Ed Townley for an opening convocation which ended in an affirmation of Dr. Zimbardo's admonition that we have it in our means to make a positive contribution.

Next came an introduction by a NYC firefighter to a moving tribute to the victims and helpers of September 11, featuring the photographs of the September 11 Photo Project projected onto high resolution screens as a distant bagpipe approached from the rear to the front of the hall, played by Pipe Sergeant Joseph Brady of the Emerald Society, Chicago Police Department. This was followed by a Bach recital by violinist Martha Curtis, a woman who readers may know from CBS' 60 Minutes or the NBC Today Show, featured as a survivor of severe "neurological storms" (epilepsy) now able to perform and live life, after having surgery to remove sections of her right brain. (Later in the day she presented her personal story entitled, "I Am, Therefore I Will: A Personal Story of Resiliency, Will, and Transformative Power of Music".)

Dr. Zimbardo paused to introduce the honored guests on the stage and in the audience, including Past APA presidents, President-Elect, retiring CEO Raymond Fowler and other luminaries. He then reiterated the theme of his Presidency, which is that "Psychology Makes a Significant Difference" in so many ways, for so many people and for society. He said that one of the greatest perquisites of being APA President is that he has the opportunity to enact a Presidential initiative. "My initiative is in developing a compendium", he said, where APA will develop and implement a "web-based model" to inform media and the world, showcasing data which demonstrate "psychology does make a significant difference".


Richard C. Atkinson, who calls himself a psychologist first, but is in fact acting as the leader of the entire University of California system, received an award for his lifetime contribution to psychology. He recalled the days of despair following Festinger's absence at the university, and the joy at having Phil Zimbardo come in to teach social psychology. And he joked about having the "second oldest" psychology text book, the inside joke being that Zimbardo has the oldest consecutively-printed psychology textbook on the market.


Studs Terkel

This man is truly amazing! Looking quite good for someone "eighty-something" Studs Terkel is considered to be "America's Story Teller" and the chronicler par excellence of real life people, in all walks of life. Today he spoke of life, and death. And boy can he spin a story!

Terkel began by noting that in one of his landmark books, "my wife insisted that 'The Good War' be in quotations, because the word 'war', and adjective 'good' are not congruous". Clearly impacted by images of war and the events of 9/11, Terkel noted that he began this awareness that "life is finite" before Sept. 11, and he's also grown to appreciate the value of "death with dignity". After all, he said, we are "only entitled to one death". He launched into one after another of his patented stories, true anecdotes of life, which he shared. In discussing with a Brooklyn fireman if he thought he would want to live forever, he recounted that the response was, "Live forever? Go through the Holland Tunnel every day? That's worse than Dantés Inferno!"

Next Terkel told a story (again reflecting personal experience) where "a Jewish kid is ready to jump off the ledge because he's Jewish and Jews killed Jesus". On the scene, Studs Terkel tried to reason with him. He engaged the man and asked him to consider this: "Suppose Jesus got 5 to 10...There wouldn't be any Catholics, would there?". Perhaps quite risky (paradoxical therapy?) for some of our professional taste, but the result was, "the guy said 'that's a very intelligent comment'" and he grabbed ahold of Terkel, and was swung back into a harness and saved.

Acknowledging he is not religious himself, Terkel confessed he's agnostic, which he defined as "a cowardly atheist", adding that he envies devout believers who have faith in the hereafter. Noting that Gertrude Stein says "there's no there, there", he said that "If there is, I think what you do here on earth determines the hereafter."

Turning to social institutions and society, Terkel returned to his theme of "death with dignity" and told the story of "a woman working as a hooker (prostitute) to get drugs", who was dying but so worried about her little girl she quit drugs cold turkey. He regretted that "our appointed chief" (Bush) is trying to eliminate rather than expand the programs which might help a person like this. As for "family values", he then told the story of Norma nee Norman, a man who wanted to live as a woman (transvestite), also about to die and eventually entering what is seen as a final coma. Studs Terkel recognized that all "her" life she worried about family and appearance and he went to Norma's bedside and spoke to her assuring her that her prized wig was being cared for and her family was well. He then asked her to squeeze his thumb if she could hear him, as he believed she might (despite being said to be comatose), and to squeeze if she wanted the plug pulled. She did respond, and "she died with dignity". This was followed by another story of "civil rights" and the story of 2 lesbians who unknown to each other were both sperm recipients of the same man, with each having had the child they longed for by this man, whose death in turn brought them together for the first time. They fell in love, and their 2 kids are now doing well. "To me", said Terkel, "that's what family value is all about-- love, awareness of death, and therefore the value of life." Turkel received an award recognizing his profound understanding and sharing of truths regarding both life and death and his many contributions over many years.


A beautiful colorful glass trophy was awarded to outgoing CEO of APA, Raymond Fowler (accompanied by his wife) at this time and closing remarks were made by Dr. Zimbardo. The opening session ended with more singing from Soul Children of Chicago. Excellent.


Opening Address #1151: The Honorable Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Social Justice in an Age of Globalization: Setting the Stage for Action

This is Jesse Junior, son of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and now a U.S. Congressman.

The man is charismatic and delivers fire & brimstone speeches reminiscent of his famous father. Rep. Jackson spoke about his committee work on minority issues and especially the findings of a comprehensive report entitled "Unequal Treatment". After declaring his acute awareness of mental health needs, he went on to outline his passionate pursuit in Congress of Constitutional entitlement to universal health care. Until we have that, he said, we can not expect other parts of the world to follow, including the poorer nations being ravished by AIDS. (I should note that AIDS research and support, along with cancer care, was a very big theme in the exhibit hall today, and poster sessions, too, along with studies of relationships and gender.)

Although he promised his would be shorter than Martin Luther King's 13 1/2 minute speech and longer than Lincoln's 3 1/2 minute Gettysburg Address, he exceeded them both once he got more passionate about his dedication to a 28th Amendment ensuring a *human* right to health and education, not only whatever the states offer, as we cannot lead except as "a union" in this age of globalization.

Jackson spoke of the desperation of people around the world, saying that "while Sept. 11 can never be rationalized or justified, it can be better understood" in the context of deprivation and survival. He noted that the Statue of Liberty was not attacked, but the symbol of World Trade, just as it was the Pentagon-- symbol of military might-- and not a symbol of freedom. He went on to say that "social justice must begin at home" and said that "globalization is an extension of domestic policy". He cited the Digital Divide as well, the disparity between rich and poor in terms of access to information and online community. He referred to the current political system in the U.S. as a "bipolar disorder", perhaps not tactful but descriptive. :-) Clearly he is angry about a lack of commitment to social justice, noting that "on Sept. 10 we had no money for healthcare and on Sept. 12 we had 40 billion dollars to go find someone in a cave in Afghanistan who we haven't found yet." He repeated: "Universal healthcare must be a human right" rather than separate and unequal, using "economic conservatism" as a euphemism for "we don't want to invest in everybody".

*Disclaimer #2 - I'm only presenting what was said, and neither endorsing nor disputing the speakers' personal or political opinion here! :-)



The exhibition hall is huge! (Did I say that?) Actually, the Convention Hall is huge, spread out across levels and buildings. The exhibit area itself seemed smaller than usual. (The economy?) Drug companies were there, though not so much anti-anxiety as ADD-oriented, and publishers and toy companies were there in force, along with a cool exhibit on virtual reality (a choice of two trials, one sitting in a plane and the other walking). There were light boxes too, organizations to join, and a section in the back for posters. As noted above, at least at the time I walked through, there were many health-related studies, especially AIDS and cancer, several studies on gender differences in perception of relationship dynamics (including one on cross-gender "friendship" demands), and some on cognition and stimulus-response learning curves and so forth. Hmm, I saw no Hershey kisses this year, and no Viagra (could I have missed it?) and no online therapy.... One of the most popular items apparently, aside from always popular pens, was the APA practice directorate stress balls, with thousands being distributed within the first 2 days.

Evening Entertainment

The rain long stopped, it's still damp and warm now, and many made their way this evening to an entertainment feature -- "ESP-- Illusion or Reality?" . This would be hard to explain, but it sure looked as if 4 or 5 people in the audience were reading minds or having their minds read, visualizing objects, picking cards, etc. But in the end we were told we were deceived by illusions, and nobody seems to know how.... provocative!

Well, that's enough for now. I could add a few mini-photos, but (1) I'm tired now! and (2) I don't want to add any more bandwidth to this already-long email. I'll add some online, though, sometime soon.

As I wrote yesterday, I did put up a few photos from Chicago, when it was sunny (the past 2 days, with a soaking rain coming just in time for opening day)... [
http://www.fenichel.com/Chicago.shtml] More photos to follow.

And that's the way it is/was this first day of the APA Convention. You heard it here first!

Take care, and regards from Chicago!


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Friday, August 23, 2002

Friday (early) morning began for me with a symposium on the appeal and efficacy of online counseling, followed by (another) conversation with the legendary Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck, and then a return to online psychological issues with a scholarly look at "Management of Cybersex and Cyber Affairs on the Internet".

Between the still-rainy weather and the long trek to the convention center at this ungodly early hour, I was a few minutes late for the 8AM start time. :-( So, I missed the very beginning, which was
Jason Zack's presentation. (He told me he'll send the powerpoint, so I might see it in outline form later and describe it... meanwhile, he did a similar, excellent presentation last year and that powerpoint is online, with a link in last year's report, http://www.fenichel.com/ebiz2001.shtml )

[In sum, Dr. Zack presented an excellent overview of how important it is to understand consumer attitudes towards f2f versus online counseling and also how important it is to develop a body of research to better understand the potential and limits of online clinical work. He presented a detailed look at one effort to develop equivalent valid & reliable scales tapping client attitudes towards therapy, online and off, and he provided examples of some of the sample items which tapped the unique aspects of online phenomenon such as online disinhibition and also the positive benefits of being able to communicate f2f.]


Next, a researcher from Iowa State University --Michael Mallen-- presented a study which reflects ongoing research into online counselor training. In looking at online *experience* among counselors now beginning to work online with clients, counselors were asked about their use of synchronous chat and other online activities, and a "closeness scale" was used to assess relationship with clients. Transcript analysis of sessions focused on the counselor variable as a determinant of outcome. Among the results, it was found that only 6/20 counselors had ever used synchronous chat at all before the study! The implications are, if generalizeable, striking in that they underscore a real need for online-specific training as it relates to both practical and ethical issues, to say nothing of best practice! Other interesting findings, based on transcripts of sessions and the various measures and the coding system of Hill & Obrien (1999):

Other points of discussion included how Mallen, Day & Green (in press) found a "generation gap" even between grad and undergrad students, with the latter more active online. (Of course this fits my own point of view and the data of the Pew study which show the islands of "newbies" shrinking and the age of full-integration of the technology extending from the very young to the undergrad now.)

In conclusion it was noted that process is more important than word quantity, and that quality is different online and off, with an offline "um hum" differing from the tendency to "get to what matters most" which the online disinhibition effect may promote. The results suggested in fact that those most comfortable with e-mail are more likely to report favorable experiences with online therapy relationships while those with social intimacy had a higher negative experience of face-to-face sessions.

Dr. Zack noted the limitations of generalizeability given the limited(undergraduate) Sample, but observed that there are many important implications nonetheless which merit further exploration.

[It is important to note that some clients apparently do feel more supported f2f, just as some counselors apparently have some discomfort online as well. Then too, others have pointed out that some therapists are apparently more comfortable online than off, as are a fair number of clients. It is for this reason that in my own writing and work as co-facilitator in ISMHO's
Clinical Case Study Group that I have emphasized how our *countertransference* about others' comfort level experienced using online communication may be just as important as discussions of how online relationships may foster new and powerful *transference* reactions. There is plenty of room for distortions from both directions, in terms both the process and the technological aspects inherent in utilizing the computer rather than the couch! Dr. Zack's review of 3 separate studies affirms that for many people, they prefer the old-fashioned version of discussion, via voice and visual contact.]

Process-based research and training in online counseling dynamics is thus extremely important as a companion to the research which focuses specifically on communication per se, or on quality-quantity analysis of online behavior. Both sets of studies presented this morning emphasized the need to understand the experience of both client and therapist, and to continue in the quest to learn which the most "therapeutic" of experiences may be, for which people with which presenting problems. That is a theme which is being repeated througout the presentations.


Jonathan Cook --who I'm happy to say was a recipient of the 2001 ISMHO Award for Distinguished Student Research-- presented additional grist for the mill in his study which looked at "working alliance", or "therapeutic relationship" within online therapeutic relationships. He reported on the development and use of a "Working Alliance Inventory" which had 3 subscales tapping aspects of the therapeutic relationship: Bonds, Tasks, and Goals. Although the Sample was small, and overwhelmingly female, a few significant results were seen, and even if not widely generalizeable given the small N, the framework of the study lays a good foundation (imho) for future such research. One thing which fascinates me (especially since I found the same thing in my own research!) is how shared *goals* emerged as one one of the significant factors in establishing a positively reported working alliance. It makes sense, right? Especially in working online, with rapid declarations of "problems" and disinhibited un-self consciousness online, it seems that much more important to "be on the same page" [share the same understanding] as to what is hoped to be accomplished! Perhaps this is part of what might best be conceptualized as establishing "online empathy".

One other aspect of the findings which is quite exciting, is the finding of a slightly stronger perception of positive alliance when therapy dyads utilized more than one modality. This is another area with great potential for research. On one hand there has been recent research about the limitations or stresses of "multi-tasking" yet on the other hand studies such as this suggest the importance of "online empathy" or congruence, where the mutual work towards communicating across modalities is experienced as enriching and perhaps even evidence of 2-way effort in building the working relationship.

Jayne Gackenbach (discussant) made a few comments and particularly emphasized the implications for work with otherwise inhibited or recalcitrant communicators as being quite apparent.


And it was off to see a "Conversation on Mind and Psychology" with legends Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis, 2 years in the making since their historic dialogue in 2000.
http://www.fenichel.com/Beck-Ellis.shtml ]

Beck and Ellis Look! They're back! Click on Photo for Report.

Magnificant Journeys:
A Conversation on Mind and Psychology with Aaron T. Beck and Albert Ellis


Finally, the day ended with a return to online psychological issues, in this case a scholarly look at "Management of Cybersex and Cyber Affairs on the Internet".

Presenters David Greenfeld and Barry Gordon discussed their findings about how people are using the Net, drawing upon their well-publicized national studies. The full report with photo is now at

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Saturday, August 24, 2002

Saturday was the day of my plenary presentation, but quite fortuitously, immediately before my own symposium I had a chance to meet yet another legend in the field of psychology, Arnold Lazarus, and to watch an all star panel of pioneers in the area of
behavior therapy take a look at cognitive and behavioral treatments, past and present.

A full report is now available at

Next up was my own presentation, along with my colleagues Drs. John Suler, Azy Barak, and David Nickelson, on the topic of
Cyberspace Travels for Psychological Researchers, Educators, and Practitioners.

For me this was the culmination of previous presentations and collaborations, and included my annual online "cyberspace tour" as well as an overview of the many ways in which psychology has begun to reflect how every day life online has become part of every day life offline as well. Going full circle, this online presentation is an attempt to try to offer readers, with the help of hypertext links and a "handout" paralleling the live (f2f) presentation, an "asynchronously live" experience of "being there" with the panel. This is at http://www.fenichel.com/cybertravels.shtml .

Aside from the overview, Azy Barak presented on a groundbreaking online crisis center saving many lives in Israel, David Nickelson (of APA) shared his perspective on legal and professional trends which will shape 21st Century practice, and John Suler presented an innovative program which facilitates guided, self-help quests for psychological growth utilizing the many resources available through the Internet. Please do give it a look when you have some time to take it all in! :-)


My final report from APA 2002 comes from a Sunday morning symposium on ethical and practical aspects of
Integrating Online Services into Clinical Practice. Craig Childress described some of the many ways that the Internet can be utilized for research, practice, and communication within the hospital-based treatment setting, while his colleague Jason Williams shared some of the administrative and practical challenges. Ron Kraus presented a close look at some ethical concerns and described some of the key factors being written into a number of guidelines for online practitioners. John Grohol completed the discussion with a review of online support groups, citing both the advantages and challenges of online communication as well as some of the unique characteristics such as disinhibition and anonymity. You can see a report on this symposium here. The article I put together "here" also features a table which lists some of the best-known ethical codes for online mental health professionals.

And that's it for this year's "asynchronously live" reports from the annual APA convention. Enjoy!

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