Articles

Children and the use of internet

Internet is always more present in every house, especially in countries where the presence of technology becomes an integral part of the daily activities of adults and children.

The psychological literature on how the presence of the web in the house of every family affects the quality of communication and relationships between parents and children is flourishing.

A recent study estimated that in the United States about a third of children between 2 and 11 years old use the web every month, spending about 22 hours total in front of the computer to visit most search engines and portals, in which to find different types of resources.

If we cross these data with those obtained in January 2008 by the National Institute of Statistics, we see that within this age group is increasing the desire to use the Net more and more.

45% of children between 6 and 11 years, in fact, would like to spend more time on the web.

This reflects the urgency for families to adapt to the demands of children about using more often the Internet at home.

But how the entry of the Internet in the family life affects the communication process within family members? What are the relational dynamics that can affect online activities by children?

Psychology is trying to give answers scientifically based, for example, with the style of attachment between parents and children, the conditions in which children gain access to the Net.

By making a parallel between the real world and the virtual worlds, we can in fact say that secure attachment style implies the presence of a parent who expresses willingness and support without interfering rigidly on the freedom to explore the net of the child, surfing the net like a balanced relationship requires that the parent allow their child to access the web with confidence, even in a protected and monitored environment.

In the absence of all of this, in fact, and in the presence of an anxious-avoidant attachment style or anxious-ambivalent relationship the child is easily induced to see the Internet as an additional potential attachment figure, or as a means to find new ones.

This element could stimulate inadequate online behaviours and web addiction.

The adult’s attention to "what" children do on the internet can facilitate discussions between parents and children.

In such cases, the Web becomes a place of resources to identify, analyze and learn from the virtual space, a world of insights and knowledge to develop.

In fact, an active involvement of parents is very important even when the child begins to surf the net. It is during this period that children surf for a longer time trying to satisfy their curiosity with anything that can potentially be found on the web.

Active involvement of parents in the first phase of approach to the Web, can allow the child to get used to share their experiences online with their parents.

The principle that must guide parents in leading children's surf on the net is identified in the fact that the search over the internet for a form of social compensation decreases where the quality of offline communication is good.

Social support from family reduces, in fact, the negative impact of stressful events offline and online (such as cyberbullying) on ​​children and adolescents (Leung, 2007).

Virtual Medicine :
A new hypnosis device from Australia used by Prime Counseling therapists
A new Hypnosis Device coming from Australia is going to be introduced in the European Market. At the moment is only used in therapy sessions by Therapist Now.com psychologists in Italy but it will be soon distributed all over Europe. This device consists of an audio visual headset and a compact, on board computer, equipped with an in-built screen and speaker allowing the operator to monitor the progress of the program while in use. The device uses hypnosis to treat chronic pain, anxiety, depression and is a cognitive pain management therapy that can be used in isolation, or in conjunction with traditional pharmacologic strategies. A short 20 minute movie designed to take the subject into an initial relaxed state, then gently drawing them into a deep state of hypnosis. The subject hears the voice of a qualified hypnotherapist while viewing synchronized vision and is gradually lowered into an altered state of consciousness.
For more information visit www. Myvirtualmedicine.com
Australia: Radio 6eba interview to Giulia Hardy(Nov 2007)
"I hope I can help many people resident in Australia, especially those who feel the need to express personal problems in their mother tongue language". This is what the psychologist Giulia Hardy(Currently psychologist for Therapist Now.com) said when interviewed in Perth by Franca Roberti for radio 6EBA FM Community Radio, the radio of Italians in Australia. To connect via the Internet should be www.6eba.com.au type and click on "Listen Online Now '.
The programme offers a wide range of cultural and activities of Italians in Australia. Giulia Hardy, graduated at “La Sapienza” University of Rome, before arriving in Australia has lived over a year in Dubai where she gained experience in Emirates Airline, and completed a research on Personality Characteristics of Emirates cabin crew( published in Italy).
As well as following training in Australia, Giulia Hardy (recently being registered at the Western Australia psychologist Board ) works with one of the major counselling private practice in Perth, Metro Counselling, proving a considerable success, not only in the Italian Community.
To hear the interview in Italian......
Maurizio Andolfi: An Italo-Australian cooperation in the psychology field
Article of Giulia Hardy
"There's no doubt that in the field of counseling, Italy has to learn a lot from Australia. However, Italians can transfer to Australians different knowledge and insights in regards to family and family psychotherapy. My effort is to strengthen research and cooperation between the psychologists of the two countries: a goal that could lead to very interesting results. "
Speaking is Prof. Mauritius Andolfi, children neuropsychiatrist, and professor of psychodynamic development and family relationships at the University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome.
The professor is in Australia since October 2007 for a research project related to the theme of cultural diversities with particular attention to the family. Our meeting was attended by his wife Lorena Cavalieri, a clinical psychologist, and director of the Foundation 'Silvano Andolfi' (which deals with immigrant families), Aldo Gurgone a clinical psychologist and director of the 'Family therapy center’ in Perth and his wife Mary, director of WA Office for Women’s Policy of Perth .

To read the complete article visit the web site: www.euronews.org
Telephone and Internet Based Counselling and Psychology:
"The marriage between technology and psychological services is know as Telepsychology"
In the past two decades, there has been an enormous growth in the call centre and computer IT industry and as a result, services provided by psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers are now offered in this environment. The term commonly used are
The proposal to form the Telephone and Internet Based Counselling and Psychology (TIBCP) Interest Group, was because of the lack of formal structures and representation of psychologists in this area. Telehealth is expanding in Australia, and presently, psychologists are ill informed about technology assisted counselling and psychology services. This interest group will allow some formal recognition of psychologists in the development of telehealth services in Australia.
As an interest group we would like to provide a network where psychologists are informed about advances and developments in this area. Psychologists play a key role as a mental health services provider and as telepsychology or telehealth advances as a legitimate and complimentary mental health service, it is important for psychologists to be involved in the development of telehealth. As a result we invite your participation to this interest group.
The telehealth service is a dynamic area, with interest coming from State and Federal governments relating to telehealth’s position to provide mental health services across Australia. Recent trends from the UK, Canada and United States indicate that this form of service is becoming mainstream
and as technology advances, the uptake, access and affordability of these services are increasing.
Telepsychology or Telehealth, however there are other terms used such as e-health, e-counselling, online counselling, web-counselling or telephone counselling. All of these terms reflect the nature of remote psychological services. about TelepsychologyMisconceptions One could be mistaken for assuming that telepsychology and helplines provide the same service when actually, differences in technology and case management practices are emerging that may create distinct differences in the definition of these services. Presently, the difference between telepsychology and helplines lies in the case management practices of the clients. In general terms, helplines are a community service where people call, talk to someone and remain anonymous. In the helpline environment the client chooses the conditions of interaction such as the time and length of call. Helplines usually rely on the client to end the call and there is no cost, or minimal cost, to the client. Volunteers with little formal qualifications commonly staff Helplines and the service is available to clients at extended hours, often 24 hours a day.
Types of Telepsychology services emerging in Australia
One could be mistaken for assuming that telepsychology and helplines provide the same service when actually, differences in technology and case management practices are emerging that may create distinct differences in the definition of these services. Presently, the difference between telepsychology and helplines lies in the case management practices of the clients. In general terms, helplines are a community service where people call, talk to someone and remain anonymous. In the helpline environment the client chooses the conditions of interaction such as the time and length of call. Helplines usually rely on the client to end the call and there is no cost, or minimal cost, to the client. Volunteers with little formal qualifications commonly staff Helplines and the service is available to clients at extended hours, often 24 hours a day.
Telepsychology on the other hand, is a detailed sharing of information between the psychologist and the client. The client provides personal details, payment, and sessions are structured. The psychologist can make appointments and transfer information from client to professional in the context of a therapeutic relationship. Information relating to the client can be effectively followed up and continuity of care maintained. The psychologist is providing services over the telephone and/ or computer similarly to the type of service provided in face-to-face consultation.
Types of Telepsychology services emerging in Australia
In Australia, a geographically vast country, many welfare and health services rely heavily on technology, such as radio, Internet and mobile phones. Telepsychology specialties are now being recognised and has emerged in Australia in several areas, as follows:
Private practitioners are offering their services over the telephone. This is currently occurring by offering coaching services to executive clients.
Telepsychology on the other hand, is a detailed sharing of information between the psychologist and the client. The client provides personal details, payment, and sessions are structured. The psychologist can make appointments and transfer information from client to professional in the context of a therapeutic relationship. Information relating to the client can be effectively followed up and continuity of care maintained. The psychologist is providing services over the telephone and/ or computer similarly to the type of service provided in face-to-face consultation.
In Australia, a geographically vast country, many welfare and health services rely heavily on technology, such as radio, Internet and mobile phones. Telepsychology specialties are now being recognised and has emerged in Australia in several areas, as follows:
Private practitioners are offering their services over the telephone. This is currently occurring by offering coaching services to executive clients.
Professional people are consulting with Psychologists about relationships, stress and family issues all via the telephone and/ or modem.
Psychologists are also providing supervision for students via the telephone and e-mails as an effective method of keeping track of student’s progress.
Health Insurance companies are now developing telepsychology practices as a way of effectively case managing their clients. (The term currently used is 'managed care'). For example, the company provides details of their membership to a "telepsychologist" and if members need to consult with a psychologist, they are referred to the telepsychologist first. The service is free to the members (callers) and the "telepsychologist" refers to face-to-face services if necessary. The telepsychologist also consults with the referred face-to-face service for managing the best treatment.
Employee assistance programs (EAP) are similarly adopting telepsychology services as health insurance companies. EAP services are providing counselling to employees directly via the telephone and/or computer. This has specifically been adapted to trauma and critical incidents. Clients are able to access information and support quickly, and the telepsychologist is able to monitor the client’s situation and progress.
Pharmaceutical companies are also providing counselling and case management services for patients using new products. The pharmaceutical companies set up a support hotline for the families and the patients, on specific medications, to provide information and counselling. The rationale behind such a service is for patients to discuss their concerns about their treatment, to be more informed about a product, will have a greater chance of adhering to the prescribed medication and completing their treatment.
There is also the emergence of the 1900 Telepsychology services. These are "pay as you talk" service often charged to the caller at a rate per minute. The client (caller) calls and talks to a Psychologist according to their needs. The issues are addressed during the call and a referral is made if necessary. The caller is assured that the person on the phone is a qualified and registered Psychologist.
Lastly there is the emergence of on-line or webcounselling. These services are rapidly emerging as a direct result of technology. There are
Example of a Telepsychology user (client)
With the advent of different modes and technologies emerging, particularly relating to telepsychology, there are considerable changes to how clients access health or mental health services in contrast to face-to-face services. Take this scenario for example.
A working mother of two young children has recently separated from her husband and is presently very depressed. She is reluctant to discuss the issues with her family, as her relationship with them is poor. She perceives that to talk to family members may create more stress, from the assumed negative judgments made by people closest to her.
Late one night in a very depressed state, after receiving an email from her separated husband and the children asleep, she logs on to the Internet, to a self-help site for depression and completes a 20-item depression checklist. Within a few moments she receives an e-mail suggesting that her levels of depression are quite severe and she is provided with a phone number of a 24-hour counselling service to talk to a qualified counsellor. She is also invited to join an online self-help chat room. She makes the phone call and whilst discussing concerns with the telephone counsellor, she is also advised to pursue other services and is given contact details and information for a local psychologist or general practitioner and a referral to legal support services for further assistance. At the conclusion of the interaction the Mother of two found the discussion very helpful.
A few days have passed and she realizes that she will need help in overcoming her depression. She contemplates how she may seek help whilst managing the household and the busy life of two young children and still maintain this issue private from her family and husband. (She is concerned about any implications this may have if she was to seek a divorce from her husband).
Due to the nature of her state, she chooses to confide and discuss her problems with the telephone counsellor, as she believes the service is useful, affordable, convenient and confidential. Furthermore she has been able to develop a good rapport and develops structured counselling sessions with the Telephone Counsellor.
Effectiveness of Telepsychology
The literature on telepsychology indicates that clients, who seek help using these modes, generally seem satisfied with the services that they receive. Researchers reports that technology assisted counselling appear to be growing at an exponential rate. Customer satisfaction also appears to be high with several studies reporting that up to 90% of callers feel satisfied with telephone counselling while about half felt their problem was less severe at follow-up. In a survey of the literature found that overall, about two-thirds of telepsychology users felt that they had been helped by counselling via the telephone, these results are similar to client satisfaction from face-to-face counselling services.
In Summary
Telephone and Internet counselling provides an environment where clients can be listened to, be provided with information and referrals. This can assist clients in alleviating some of their distress. These are factors that can contribute to effectiveness. It is accepted that counselling is an effective therapeutic interventions for mental health issues and the same basic skills are being used for telepsychology. It is reasonable to suggest that these services are effective at least in terms of case management and preventative measures.
It is understandable that technology-assisted media will inevitably change any cues associated with physical presence. However, we need to understand that face-to-face counselling is one way of counselling, there are other forms of communicating including, symbolic or written (visual) and speech or noises, (sounds). It can be further argued that effective counselling may include a number of forms of communication, with or without physical presence.
At present this Interest group sees the area of telepsychology and Telehealth as an enormous research interest. The development of technology has meant that policies, procedures and legislations are slowly ‘catching up’ to the practises of telepsychology. Furthermore empirical research has only recently emerged and many fundamental questions of viability, sustainability effectiveness and cohesion to current mainstream services are emerging.
The Telephone and Internet based Counselling and Psychology (TIBCP) interest group invites interested members to join this exiting and relative emerging area of Psychology and would welcome participation to future developments in this area.
Please visit our page on the APS website (www.psychology.org.au/tibcp)
Bill Campos
Chairperson
specific chat rooms, web cam integration such as teleconferencing and also interactive media whereby information and communication is passed on to mobile devices such as video-phones. This area in particular, has the greatest potential for development as the structure and application of the technology is presently being developed.
Eating for two or lose weight?

Today being pregnant has taken on new meanings and values that can almost be considered and analyzed as a new trend of thought in the post modern age.
Pregnancy it is not anymore considered one of most attractive and exciting life experiences as a woman often experience fears, uncertainties, difficulties and anxieties.

Instead of feeling the joy to carry a new life and to observe their body that changes with astonishment and surprise, today women feel that they are victims of social pressures and family pressures who do not allow them to live like they should the famous nine months of waiting.
Unfortunately our society seems to forget what it means to procreate and give life, values such as work, career, a beautiful and healthy body etc seem to be more important. Today you can choose when and how to give life to another living being but the choice, is really a choice? Or, it is a choice influenced by factors such as a mortgage to pay, a work contract that does not allow maternity leave, and an inexplicable fear for
women to lose their so-called "perfect shape" won at all costs by exhausting diets? Are we truly free to choose?

Many years of feminism have given us the freedom to wear a miniskirt, but to procreate in absolute tranquillity economical and emotional?
The beautiful belly becomes a penalty, it is inconvenient for companies and a danger to the woman who runs for cover with all possible anti-stretch mark creams and tries to hide it until they can at work.
So I ask myself as a woman, shell we try to defend our selves?

2010: Where is the “Happy Family” gone?

The actress Mia Farrow was the fifth of eight children and, at the age of nineteen, speaking to a newspaper she expressed her regret for not being born in a smaller family saying :
“A child needs more affection than you can receive in a large family."
At the age of twenty-five years she gave birth to twins and shortly after to another child.
At this point, with a modest size family, she could give her three children the life that she would have liked. Instead, in the following years she adopted two Vietnamese children, and over the following twelve years, had another child and has adopted six more children. All together, twelve children called her mum ! Today she says: "The benefits of large families are enormous. I want to recreate my family of origin. "
Even Mia Farrow, then, during the years, realized that the family is one of the greatest resources we have in our lives. And family can be the most important and effective anti-depressant or medicine existing. Each member of a family may be vital to the wellbeing of the rest of the group and a vital resource in times of difficulty.
Psychologists and psychotherapists who, like me, work with families and do family therapy, are aware of this, but in reality if there was a more widespread knowledge on the resources of families, there would be much less work for us and people would live happier.
Members of families in fact, would understand the importance of finding within the family the inner resources to get out of deadlock situations and difficulties.
Although today many things have changed, starting from couples, the core of the family.
Couples today are crushed like in a sandwich where upstairs you find parents who, because of the phenomenon of the extension of old age require care and complex forms of relationships which have a heavy torque dynamics on the couple. Downstairs the children, who do not become independent at a young age anymore and somehow prevent the couple to find a balance and its own space.
In fact, so many couples bring into their bedrooms many thoughts and worries that certainly do not facilitate their relationships.
That's why we have gone from "blind love" to "cautious love." Couples before marriage already know perfectly well which are the divorce procedures and they bring into account the possibility of interrupting the marriage. This is a response to the difficulties they encounter.
These brief reflections may already be sufficient to realize that the basics for a "Happy Family" sometimes are already undermined from the start.
But family therapists are not convinced of this. The family, especially the extended family, has in it all resources to solve problems. Sometimes it may be sufficient with the help of a therapist, to highlight the dysfunctional dynamics that were created and magically transform them into functional. When a couple says: "We are here because we are worried for our child" therapists think: "The child will be my co-therapist, he is the greatest resource I have to help this family to be happy and functional. "
Yes, the member who brings the problematic symptom is the expression of the family distress, not necessarily has to be the one to be helped more. Sometimes, however, is the greatest resource therapist have to redesign the foundations and dynamics of a new family.
The same can be done by listening to the responses of grandparents during therapy. They can often bring a wave of positivity that can help to transform couple difficulties into something good.
That is why, finally, I want to say that all we should realize and perhaps remind us of the value of family, how and why it is so important