many humanistic therapists Eager to practice “unconditional positive attention,” the unwavering acceptance and support of clients popularized by American psychological giant Carl Rogers. Like all ideals, unconditional positive attention is hard (or impossible) completely achieve. It takes skill, practice, and maturity to be quiet and ignore the constant chatter of mental judgment—even for the experts in charge of the job.
Some forms of reflexive, negative judgment are well known and increasingly discussed: for example, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism. Anecdotes abound Regarding the failure of therapists to maintain and demonstrate appropriate sensitivity to their clients, even recently (when it possible Ignorance is already forgivable long ago).
As a result, therapists call for a renewed emphasis on “cultural competence”: a deliberately cultivated, expanded ability to understand and connect with clients from diverse personal and philosophical backgrounds.although The term has been used since 1989, awareness of the importance of cultural competence appears to have picked up over the past decade. The core, motivating idea is that without developed cultural competencies, therapists not only risk not being able to help clients, but actively harm them with destructive casual remarks or dull non-help.
But another key element of cultural competence has been underestimated by the field of psychology: “online,” if you will.exist “Very online” is a self-deprecating word that doesn’t die, because it actually points to an important dimension of contemporary human existence: the breadth, depth, and special flavor of one’s life on the Internet.
we are now The rise of “digital natives” is at least an entire generation, people who grew up using computers and online interactions rather than having to adopt these practices as adults. In a brief history of technology, “surfing the Internet” was a discrete, contingent event limited to time spent sitting in front of a large, slow dial-up computer. Now, and for the foreseeable future, online and offline lives are almost inextricably linked, interacting everywhere. Even before Covid-19, ordinary American life was rapidly shifting online day and night. Between pre-pandemic 2019 and the 2020 lockdown, Share of U.S. employed population working purely from home has increased 10-fold, from a paltry 4% to 43%. Online dating is no longer a dreaded admission for those with niche interests: Today, more than a third of heterosexual couples report meeting online. Living online affects the events you hear and attend, how you view and interact with traditional institutions like government and schools, the doctors you choose and what you expect from them, and even where you decide to live and where your city is in your life. Changes under the nose.
As a life coach, working primarily with clients in their 20s who found me on Twitter, I’ve seen time and time again how online cultural issues can affect individuals’ goals, aspirations, their own standards, and even core personal identities. (For better or worse, coaches tend to be freer from institutions and traditions than therapists, we Do Seems to more clearly accommodate extreme online needs. ) issues like repeated romantic failures, work friction, and social anxiety aren’t new in themselves, but they crop up online in very specific (and sometimes very complex) ways. Think about it: unmatched on dating platforms, muted on Twitter, text message read receipts combined with ambiguous radio silence with notification fatigue or genuine indifference.