Monday, June 19, 2006

Televised shrinks—no, not Dr. Phil

…According to Kirk Johnson, writing in the New York Times (June 8, 2006), some psychiatrists are going “telemedicine,” practicing over the computer instead of face to face.

…This is especially true in rural areas without a shrink for miles.

…At least 18 states pay for some telemedicine under their Medicaid programs. But the trend really started with the prisons and the need for mental health services in these remote locations.

…Both the doctor and patient “see” each other over the computer.

…All the doctor can’t do is touch or smell the person, but one doctor said when it came to psychiatry this was probably a good thing—meaning, she hastened to add, in person contact contained a lot of distractions.

…One doctor avoids wearing zigzaggy patterns, which can “strobe” on TV and disturb some patients. She also pans around the room to show paranoid patients there is no one else there.

…After a short while, doctors and patients report, you forget you are not in the same room.

…Except both sides have an “off” button.


twobuyfour said...

How cool is THAT!?! When I saw a therapist (actually several) prior to, and just after my divorce I remeber the worst parts (aside from the fact that none of them really seemed to help a whole lot - if at all) was the physical. One's office was too cold. One's was too far away. One's had uncomfortable furniture. All gave me the uncomfortable feeling of not knowing how to sit so as to convey the wrong body language while simultaneously trying to sit in a way which didn't make my tempermental back sore and stiff.

I could have done it all from the comfort of home! Where was this news three years ago?

Star said...

Thanks for writing. I am not sure how to hook up with these people. If you find out, post again!

Star said...

Also--on body language--remember the old David Steinberg routines... He was the psychiatrist, wearing a sombrero (naturally) and when the person would come in, he would say, "Sit anywhere, where you sit is very important." The person would start
to sit and Steinberg would yell, "Bedwetter! Booga booga!"