Online Therapy 101
Online therapy uses both real time and time delayed methods to help clients in a wide variety of issues they have come to seek professional help for.
Some clients may use e-therapy as a weekly or bi-weekly tool, while others may use it simply as a way of checking in with a professional and gaining some needed insight about a problem they may be having.
Although those who conduct online counseling sessions are psychotherapists, because of the limitations of conducting therapy online, i.
not being able to diagnose or treat mental or medical disorders, or giving comprehensive psychological assessments, the therapy conducted is not psychotherapy.
Online therapists help their clients address problems in their lives that are concerning to them, and guide them using the professional skills they have obtained through their traditional psychotherapy work, and education.
Admittedly, e-therapy does have some drawbacks, but it also has some powerful positive aspects to it.
When a client does use the modality of e-therapy, it allows for a sense of privacy that may not be capable of attaining through traditional therapeutic means.
Also, e-therapy allows the client the ability to get to their point much quicker than traditional therapy.
The client does not have to deal with social and non-verbal cues, embarrassment, shyness, and other behavioral barriers that can sometimes impede progress in a traditional counseling atmosphere.
Many have found the use of email to have several benefits over traditional counseling.
Unlike conventional psychotherapy, the client has the ability to sit down with their thoughts and express what is important to them, and what the problems they are having are.
Equally important is the therapist's ability to spend as much time as needed on a topic that has been brought up in a client's emails and offer professional insight, guidance, and a third party point of view.
Additionally, information that a client may benefit from can be given to them by their therapist quickly and easily via the internet.
E-Therapy is not for everyone.
If you are feeling suicidal, homicidal, you feel you need medications, or a diagnosis, traditional face to face therapy will probably work better for you.
Additionally, if you feel you need physical and verbal cues, to be understood, or to fully comprehend your therapist, e-therapy may not be the best course of action for you at this time.
However, for those who do not have enough time to get to another place in their day, who may feel uncomfortable going in to an office, who do not want to see a therapist face to face, but do want to deal with their issues, or those who may be in a rural location, e-therapy can be a valuable tool to finding possibilities you never knew existed.
Because e-therapy's medium of transmission of information is the internet, there is always the possibility that information could be gained by a third party.
E-therapists are bound by the same HIPAA regulations that all mental health practitioners conform to.
Because of this, confidentiality, safety, and security of client information is of the utmost importance to those protecting it.