Net-working the steps: Web-based support for women in recovery from problem gambling

Abstract

Computer-mediated communication, echoing other quantum leaps in technology, is transforming social lives on a global scale as networks formed in cyberspace reach across group boundaries, space, and time itself. In some instances, people's on- and off-line lives intersect as they develop multi-dimensional, intentional communities (Rheingold, 2000; Wellman, 2001). Increasingly, professional counsellors and psychotherapists are creatively exploring use of the Internet to augment standard interventions or to reach individuals who are reluctant or unable to use existing in-person or real-time services (Cunningham, Humphreys & Koski-Jannes, 2000; Galanter & Brook, 2001; Hsuing, 2000). Paralleling the boom in the reliance on self-help resources and mutual aid to complement or replace the help of a treatment professional, electronic support groups are forming to help people struggling with illness, disability, loss, addiction and other problems.

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