Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Cell phones-Therapeutic use, Psychotherapist and patient, Psychotherapy-Technological innovations, Therapeutic alliance, Qualitative, Telemental health, Therapeutic relationship, E-therapy, Working alliance, Cell phone, Mental health applications


This qualitative study examines the impact of both clinician and client use of cell phone on the therapeutic relationship. Eighteen one-hour interviews were held with clinicians who either used cell phones as tools in their therapy practice or who had clients who used them. Different ways in which clinicians used cell phones as interventions and tools in therapy as well as the varied ways in which clients brought cell phones into therapy to discuss their own lives were examined. Open-ended questions included: affects on the real relationship, the working alliance, countertransference experience, talking on the phone, phone coaching, text messaging, emailing, social media websites, and mental health applications. The findings of this research revealed that clinicians felt that the use of cell phone strengthened the working alliance as well as the real relationship and rapport. However, they expressed many caveats. Additionally, the clinicians reported having negative, neutral and positive countertransference experiences.




iv, 109 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 95-101)