Plugged in: Technology in the Field of Mental Health and Barriers to Future Implementation


Erin Caughman

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Hale Martin

First Committee Member

Nicole E. Taylor

Second Committee Member

Kathleen Purcell


Technology, web therapy, psychotherapy, psychological testing


Technology has grown exponentially over the past two decades and has affected every industry imaginable. The field of mental health is no exception. The possibility now exists to serve a larger population than ever before in a more efficient manner and to collaborate with colleagues oceans away in real time. Accommodations can be made to overcome barriers of transportation, language, motor skill, mobility, and symptoms that impair engagement (such as agoraphobia). In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of technology-assisted therapies, including online self-help programs, smart phone applications, and web therapy. However, new technology has brought new concerns, which include confidentiality and privacy. Many clinicians worry that technology-based therapies are impersonal and less effective than traditional therapy models. This study explores the current use of technology in the field of mental health, what providers see themselves using in the near future, and barriers to implementation. In this effort, a brief survey was administered to a sample of mental health professionals to elicit their use of and attitudes toward existing technology. The purpose of this study is to shine a light on this aspect of the field so that future training, development of protocol, and research can make the best clinical use of present and future tools.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


48 pages

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