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Chet Lesniak


Social media communications provides alternatives to healthcare by presenting a platform to the public, patients, and healthcare professionals as a way to communicate health issues that could improve health outcomes (Ramezanhani, Yadegarynia, Dorodgar & Arab-Mazar, 2019). These findings suggest that there is a need for studies regarding the psychological effects of taking part in social media platforms. This phenomenological study explored lived experience involving group member support received in the online environment and the opportunity that they were afforded to experiment with feedback to gain awareness of self via blogging. The conceptual framework was Beisser's paradoxical theory of change. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore potential benefits of using an interactive online environment (i.e., secured blog) for gestalt group members and facilitators to provide feedback, and support as a supplement to gestalt group sessions. Data were collected from 15 participants through 12 semi-structured interview questions. In-depth interviews involved a series of open-ended questions to gather details regarding participants' lived experiences in terms of online blog. The findings among both active and inactive participants of the blog was that they both used feedback that was presented by the facilitator of the group in the blog to enhance their therapeutic experiences. Another finding was the feeling of support for members of the blog. This research could fill a gap in understanding how secure online blogs could provide useful information to practitioners regarding mental benefits of support received.

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