Online counseling also known as e-therapy – is when a professional counselor or psychotherapist talks with you over the Internet, to give you emotional support, mental health advice or some other professional service.
Online therapy is an alternative source of help when traditional psychotherapy is not accessible. Its effective. Its private. Its conducted by skilled, qualified, ethical professionals. It works as well as face to face therapy with most clients.
Online therapy is usually offered either by private practitioners who will meet with you in a secure site which is HIPPA compliant or there are online therapy clinics where you chose the therapist whom you would like to work with from a list of mental health practitioners.
Some websites such as Talkspace offer email and text based counseling. This type of counseling is not the same as psychotherapy because you do not see the person and it’s difficult to gauge how well the person is doing via text and also you may not be able to have a continuous conversation with the person.
Online therapy works well if you have a very busy schedule, you live somewhere without many therapists, you have young children at home or it’s difficult for you to get to an office. Online therapy is not suitable for people suffering from severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. It is very helpful for people with anxiety or depression. While online therapy is not for everyone it is a viable alternative to face to face psychotherapy.