New tools in cybertherapy: The VEPSY web site

Gianluca Castelnuovo, Claudio Buselli, Roberta De Ferrari, Andrea Gaggioli, Fabrizia Mantovani, Enrico Molinari, Marco Villamira, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the last years the rapid development of the Internet and new communication technologies has had a great impact on psychology and psychotherapy. Psychotherapists seem to rely with more and more interest on the new technological tools such as videophone, audio and video chat, e-mail, SMS and the new Instant Messaging Tools (IMs). All these technologies outline a stimulating as well as complex scenario: in order to effectively exploit their potential, it is important to study which is the possible role played by the Internet-based tools inside a psychotherapeutic iter. Could the technology substitute the health care practitioners or are these tools only a resource in addition to the traditional ones in the therapist's hand? The major aim of this chapter is to provide a framework for the integration of old and new tools in mental health care. Different theoretical positions about the possible role played by e-therapy are reported showing the possible changes that psychotherapy will necessarily face in a cyber setting. The VEPSY website, an integration of different Internet-based tools developed within the VEPSY UPDATED Project, is described as an example of clinical application matching between old (and functional) practices with new (and promising) media for the treatment of different mental disorders. A rationale about the possible scenarios for the use of the VEPSY website in the clinical process is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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