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What is Cybertherapy?

Updated: Aug 5

Wellness for today's global world that comes to you on your own terms and uses technology and innovation to reach you without barriers.

Welcome to my consulting practice. Here you'll find answers to the details about who I consult with, and how Cybertherapy wellness consulting differs from traditional therapy.

Traditional therapy involves diagnosing a disorder and designing interventions to alleviate or cure that disorder. Cybertherapy is different.

The root of the word therapy, comes from the Greek word therapeia meaning, "To heal or minister." It evolved colloquially to mean medical interventions over time, and became synonymous with modern medicine and psychology. However, I believe that the original intention was broader, and therefore include the word therapy in the consulting practice title. Cyber implies the future, it generates images of how to use internet-based technology to enhance traditional care, and reach people living and struggling in today's modern world.


Cybertherapy aims to achieve wellness through a medium that is convenient for the client. I do not believe in forcing individuals with busy lives into a commute to a doctor's office with inconvenient hours. In-home, destination, or online evening, weekend, and early morning sessions are available. Bespoke intensive sessions are encouraged for those wishing to complete their goals within a compressed timeframe.


Why move away from traditional therapy?


Well, to start with, in order to participate in traditional therapy, you'd have to be disordered. My background in Clinical Psychology was steeped in knowledge about pathology, where we sifted through manuals chock full of labels and criteria in order to diagnose and treat such disorders and problems. In its essence, it is a problem-focused approach. Especially in today's world of managed care and insurances, it became a series of "interventions" which progress from diagnosing a disorder, designing interventions, and then proving the pathology to third party payers in order to receive reimbursement*. The human element of wellness has gotten lost. The convenience and privacy of the client was put on a back burner, and the system became focused on profit and liabilities.


Age and wisdom has allowed me the perspective to see how many people don't need or don't fit into that traditional model of treatment. It is not always necessary or helpful to label individuals seeking alleviation of internal distress and increased wellness in these terms. Nor is it a good use of time and energy, to create specific and measurable treatment interventions that ignore the changing needs of the client, and the subtleties of ever evolving emotional needs.


Cybertherapy is a wellness** based approach. It is focused on self-understanding, growth, and strength assessment in order to further build on the foundations of health already in existence within the individual or family. It allows for a whole-person, responsive, case conceptualization with flexible interventions. The understanding of both inherent strengths and less useful dynamics, allows the critical work of skill building for lasting positive change to take place. Goals are collaborative, and clients retain the full control over their desired changes.


We all have blind spots, and using a qualified third party with extensive knowledge of psychological theory is extremely beneficial. A consultant provides a bit of neutral distance and analysis, so that the client can better understand blocks and unhelpful dynamics from their past which served as barriers to optimal functioning.


*Please note that since Cybertherapy is not traditional psychotherapy and is considered an optional wellness consulting service, rather than healthcare. It is not reimbursable by insurance companies, nor is it appropriate to submit Cybertherapy invoices as proof of psychological care services for tax deduction purposes.


**Traditional therapy is still recommended for all persons diagnosed or suspected to have an acute mental health disorder. Such clients are not the intended participants of Cybertherapy services and will be referred to appropriate professionals operating within the medical model clinical system.

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Dr. Marie C. Dumas, Psy.D.