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COURSE ONE – Understanding the Psychological Effects of Digital and Social Media

COURSE ONE - Understanding the Psychological Effects of Digital and Social Media

Course Coordinator: Kas Tuters

Seminar Leaders: Kas Tuters, Michael Blugerman, Bethany Good, Marshall Korenblum, Faye Mishna

Thursday, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm: September 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8, 15, 2020 (6 evenings)

Fees: $360

Registration Deadline: September 5, 2020
Preregistration is required.

** DISTANCE PARTICIPATION ONLY – This course will be conducted online.

This course will address aspects such as New Media vs. Old Media, and how this shift has significantly affected modes of communication. What is the “norm” these days, what is healthy and what is pathological? What are the implications for future generations? How does sexting and bullying take place over the internet? How will the impact of the Covid crisis alter our ways of providing therapy? What are the commonly used internet platforms for Teletherapy, Supervision and Seminars?

1. New Media vs. Old media: Key concepts and professional considerations*

  • Differences between Digital media and other types of media (print, radio, TV, movies)
  • Generational differences (bridging the digital cultural divide)
  • Key terms and concepts (digital literacy, media literacy, Connectivism)
  • Professionalism (contracting online communication, practitioners own digital footprint)

2. Understanding digital media culture from a developmental frame*

  • Meeting the patient/client where they’re @ (liminal spaces online and offline)
  • Digital media and developmental tasks (Positive youth development model)
  • Opportunities and risks associated with digital media use

3. Clinical considerations when addressing digital media use with clients/patients*

  • Assessment and evaluation of risk
  • Addressing digital media use as a treatment issue (overuse/addiction/harm)
  • Concepts, strategies and tools to help mediate and monitor digital media use

*All three weeks will include considerations in a post COVID-19 context.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the course the participants will be able to:

  1. Learn how to understand online opportunities and risks from a developmental and psychosocial framework.
  2. How to bridge the divide between therapist and (young) clients when using and addressing social/digital media.
  3. Learn how to assess and address digital media overuse and other online risk activities.
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Kaspars Tuters, MD, FRCP(C)

Psychoanalyst in Private Practice. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Fellow, British Psychoanalytical Society. Faculty TPS&I.

Michael Blugerman, MSW, RSW

Private Practice in child/adolescent/adult; Executive Director, Children’s Resource and Consultation Centre of Ontario; Chair, Ontario Association of Private Adoption Practitioners; Guest of the TPS.

Bethany Good*, MSW, RSW

Doctoral candidate at University of Toronto (Research focus: Digital media use and adolescent mental health). Private practice (child/adolescent/adult psychotherapy, family therapy/parent counselling). Social worker at Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health (formerly Hincks).

Marshall Korenblum*, MD, FRCP(C), Dip. Child Psych.

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Medical Director, Sick Kids Centre for Community Mental Health (formerly the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre); Consultant, Division of Youth Psychiatry, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Long-standing interest in psychodynamic therapy with adolescents, and the intersection between mood and personality disorder.

Faye Mishna*, MSW, RSW, PhD

Professor, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Guest of the TPS.

* By invitation.

The Extension Courses are eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour).

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2020/2021 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount. Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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