ERIC Number: ED444042
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Women's Internet Behavior: Providing Psychotherapy Offline and Online for Cyber-Infidelity.
Maheu, Marlene M.
As women increasingly use the Internet, a variety of behaviors worthy of psychological study are emerging. Through e-mail discussion lists, newsgroups, and Web sites, women are exploring new ways of interacting. Asserting themselves, initiating bold conversations, experimenting with anger, involving themselves in furtive love affairs, and having cybersex are just some of the experiences occurring for women. This paper looks at how cyber-affairs can be damaging to the core issues of trust, self-esteem, and integrity in a relationship. Affairs can be a betrayal of the self and can imply that a person is avoiding knowing himself/herself or the partner when substituting fantasy sex online for a real relationship. The paper discusses the many implications for feminist psychotherapists who bring a traditional understanding of relationships to the world of online romance. It discusses how psychologists need to understand and develop treatment strategies for patients with cyber-infidelities. Several suggestions are offered for counselors and counselor training: (1) helping clients clarify arrangements and agreements with their domestic partner; (2) exploring the ethics involved in treating clients via e-mail; (3) defining the professional relationship on and off line; and (4) considering counselor competency in the use of technology as a counseling tool. (Contains 91 references.) (JDM)
Descriptors: Affective Behavior, Counseling Effectiveness, Counseling Techniques, Counselor Client Relationship, Counselor Training, Electronic Mail, Ethics, Females, Internet, Interpersonal Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Psychotherapy, Sexuality, Social Cognition
For full text: http://telehealth.net/articles/women internet.html.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A