Internet Therapy – What would Freud do?

If you go to the world’s biggest second-hand bookstore, you will find a hardback, 1898, first-edition of Die ‘Traumdeutung’ (The Interpretation of Dreams) by Sigmund Freud.
It’s arguably Freud’s most important work and one of very few books, that shaped Modernism, yet, at the time of publication, the ‘Dream’ book sold so badly that his publishers waited ten years before risking a second edition.  And today it’s yours for $24,500.
When I think of that, I imagine boxes of books languishing in Freud’s garage (I doubt he had a garage but in my imagination the books are stacked next to Ernst’s tricycle, snow shovels and rusting cans of creosote).
Freud described himself as ‘a chancer ‘ a man who took risks. He was an outsider and an intellectual non-conformist, not afraid to adapt or even to publicly fail.  Indeed he even wrote up case histories that are clear descriptions of clinical mistakes.
Would Freud embrace new media?  You bet he would.  He was what Tec companies call an ‘early adaptor’.  He loved the new; mesmerism, hypnotism, cocaine and, of course  Bauer’s Talking Cures. Freud embraced innovation.
Does working on-line replace face-to face work?  No rather it extends it and changes it just as all new media change the old.   Look at the disruption that the internet has caused in other industries, Music from CDs to Downloads, Films, from Odeon to Netflix,  Books from ‘Borders’ to Kindle, from Black Cabs to Uber.
The internet enables us to work from anywhere in the UK with anyone wherever they are on the globe  There is no travel time involved, people who are physical unable to leave their home can now access therapy, celebrities who do not want to be seen going to therapy – can access therapy.
When I was in training I lived in North Wales- 70 miles away from my supervisor and 80 miles from my placement.   In winter driving through the Crimea Pass even in four-wheel drive was taking your life in your hands,  how I would have loved the internet then.
I have heard all the objections and concerns about being able to work with Transference but let me assure you that working at distance can even increase and concentrate Transference.
Now I am aware that writing in a blog, I am actually communicating to those who are new-‘media resistant’ and I am doing it on new media – but I am hoping that this may spark debate or or at least conversation.
So please, especially if you disapprove of such activities – try it out for yourself – you may be surprised.  Or take a brief training , spend a day playing with these innovations.  And remember it’s not ‘instead of ‘staying in the Consulting Room – it’s ‘as well as.’
Internet Therapy – What would Freud do?

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