Please consider taking part in this important research project! Kate
I am a final year student doing my PsychD in Counselling Psychology at Roehampton. I came across an article by Kate Anthony on avatar therapy 5 years ago when I was reading articles on online games addiction. The concept fired my imagination and instantly made me curious to know more. How does it work? How do the clients experience it? How do the therapists experience it? Why do clients choose avatar therapy? Can it be done psychodynamically? How does transference/countertransference happen across a distance? I started to think about the newer generations and thinking that as technology progresses, it seems that people are becoming more comfortable online. It can easily become the case that some people are more comfortable online than offline.
At the time, I was only aware of the version of avatar therapy that was taking place in Second Life. Now I’m aware of software programs that allow the therapist and client to sit together and work in a virtual world. I am fascinated by the different dimensions and the possibilities.
This research invitation is requesting your participation in an interview asking you about your experience of Avatar based therapy as a therapist offering avatar based interventions. The research aims to explore the helpful and unhelpful aspects of using avatar based interventions in regards to the therapeutic relationship. I hope to explore how using avatar based interventions affects building, maintaining, and working through the therapeutic relationship and how this may compare or contrast to more traditional forms of psychotherapy.
The type of data to be collected
This research uses a semi-structured interview to ask about your experiences of providing avatar-based interventions. It is not expected that this interview will take longer than 1 hour. I hope to interview up to 12 participants but only you and I, the researcher will be present in the room. Interviews may be in person on Roehampton University Whitelands college campus, private rooms in the Roehampton University library, or via Skype. In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to conduct interviews at my therapy room in South Kensington.
Confidentiality and anonymity
Interview responses are kept anonymous and confidential. Each interview will be given a code for data collection and analysis purposes and only the research team will listen to recordings for transcription purposes or access data. I will treat all data you provide in confidence. Your identity will be protected in the publication of any findings, and that data will be collected and processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and with the University’s Data Protection Policy of the United Kingdom.
Inclusion criteria include a) 18 years or older, b) member of, certified by, or
registered by a therapeutic governing body as a psychotherapist or counsellor, c)
have experience as a face to face therapist without the use of avatar based
interventions, d) have experience providing avatar based interventions.
If you would like to kindly participate or would like more information, I can provide an information sheet via the email address below. There is also a set of demographic and pre-interview questions to answer to ensure inclusion criteria are met for this research.
Name and contact details of primary investigator
Name: Melanie Baker
University Address: Whitelands College, Holybourne Ave, London, Postcode: SW15 4JD