Perspective of the use of electronic communication in the psychotherapy of eating disorders
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Arch Psych Psych 2008;10(1):55-65
Current research on using adjunctive e-mail in psychotherapy of eating disordered patients is still in its infancy. Some authors underline potential benefits of this form of intervention, and, to prove it, they quote very enthusiastic opinions of their patients. Obviously, this medium of e-mail may help some patients with eating disorders, especially these who are shy, timid and harm-avoidant or who for various reasons have hindered access to treatment. Paradoxically, anonymity which is considered to be one of advantages of e-mail, may become the most serious danger for privacy of patients. Additionally, this feature may appear fatal in the case of self-destructive behaviours of disturbed patients. Cautious optimism of most patients about this form psychotherapy should be, aside from clearly cognitive reasons, an additional motivation for researchers, for a thorough empirical verification of it.
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