“No one seems to understand that some of my deepest relationships are online.”
“We’re having this conflict online, and I don’t know how to manage it.”
“I know how I’d manage this issue if it were face-to-face. How do I do it in an online medium?”
“How do I form and maintain trust when we don’t actually see each other?”
“People are throwing around the phrase ‘Internet Addiction.’ Is that real?”
Online relationships are real.
The Internet allows us to form a connection with someone miles away, someone we might never meet face-to-face. This can lead to fulfilling and productive relationships. At the same time, the medium poses unique challenges to keeping these relationships healthy. When conflict arises online, it can hurt just as much as in offline relationships. Therapy can help improve communication, and I see my role as helping you improve the interactions you have online.
In my view, online relationships are just as valid as offline ones. I am familiar with the dynamics involved in social networking, email correspondence, blogs, online games, discussion groups, and virtual worlds. The answer to interpersonal problems online is seldom just to “turn off the computer.” We need to look at how your online interactions operate, the issues relevant to your particular community, what is working well for you, what’s causing conflict, and how you might find ways of improving your online social connections.
I work to help people dealing with a variety of online issues:
- social networking conflicts and anxieties
- online vs. in-person communication
- excessive online time / “Internet addiction”
- Internet dating
- arguments, flamewars and drama
- trust, privacy and safety concerns
- identity issues: avatars/handles and what they communicate
- harassment or stalking
- online romantic/sexual relationships
- online sexual compulsivity
People with active lives on the Internet often have a need for informed, non-judgmental counseling around these issues. As a psychotherapist and an avid participant in several online communities, I’m here to help.
My specialized training in these issues includes a Certification in Internet Addiction and Psychology of the Web by the Zur Institute and the Course Sequence in CyberPsychology from the PsyBC.