Thank you for visiting the Online Therapy page. The following information may help you to make an informed decision about online therapy and whether it is right for you.
Online therapy is any support that is given to help individuals with mental health problems via the internet. This may be via webcam, voice, instant messaging or email. Just knowing that there is someone there to respond to your problems without judgement can provide an enormous sense of comfort and support to anyone attempting to overcome a difficult period in their life. If you’re unsure as to whether email counselling is a suitable option for you, the best thing to do is to get in touch to discuss your concerns.
If you are considering online therapy using webcam, voice, email or instant messaging, the internet offers access to mental health treatment on these platforms. Before you make a decision, you might like to consider the information on this page before you decide if working online with a therapist is right for you. In all online therapy I adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy and I am a fully qualified online therapist.
‘Working online’ is used in this context to include all methods of communication using digital and information technology regardless of whether equipment used is a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other device. ‘Working online’ is also sometimes referred to as ‘working at a distance’ to establish a distinction from working in the physical presence of the other person.
Webcam means that you will speak directly to your therapist, and all interactions will be in real time. Essentially, although working from a distance, you will be able to see and hear your therapist and you will be seen and heard over the secure platform link. Webcam is done through VSee or Zoom and these platforms are secure and can be downloaded very easily prior to your appointment.
Voice means that you will be speaking to your therapist via a phone or computer voice connection. You will not be able to see each other although all interactions will be in real time. You will not be seen by your therapist and therefore, it is important that you are able to speak clearly and have a good clear voice connection, so you get the most benefit from your telephone counselling session.
Email means that you will email your therapist and agree a specific time for a response. Your therapist will not reply immediately, a reply could take anything from 24 hours to a few days depending of what you have contracted for. The specific number of emails in any given time period will also be in your agreement with your therapist. Email gives you the opportunity to think about your problems and write them down in on a secure email platform like hushmail or protonmail and these can be accessed and set up very easily.
Instant Messaging means that you will be able to talk with your therapist through an instant messaging platform, where the exchanges will be in real time and a response will be immediate. At the designated appointment time we will both log on to a predetermined chat room (which will be secure and confidential, usually via VSee), and exchange instant messages for the agreed length of the session. Similar to other forms of counselling, certain details will need to be confirmed before the online counselling begins. This may be done over the phone, via email or using the instant messenger.
All online therapy services with me are paid for in advance via BACS or Paypal all services are charged at £50.00 per hour. I spend one hour online with you via voice, webcam or instant messaging or one hour preparing a response to your email.
Online therapy provides accessibility to busy individuals who don’t have time to travel to an appointment. If you are away from home business trips can be stressful and isolating which makes seeking professional support more important than ever. Having an established relationship with an online counsellor means you can talk to them about the issues you’re facing from any hotel room, anywhere in the world. It’s accessible if you have mobility issues or are housebound. Individuals who are unable to leave their home for various reasons, such as physical or mental illness, may find online therapy a useful alternative to traditional psychotherapy settings. Time might be an issue and being able to access therapy online is time efficient and saves travelling to your therapist’s lcation.
If you are concerned about the stigma attached to mental health problems, or you are worried that someone may find out you are having treatment, online services offer you a high level of privacy, as well as, in some cases, giving the option to remain anonymous.
Online therapy is usually very convenient as you will be attending therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home or area that you choose to access therapy from. You can schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you and make arrangements to have the same time slot each session. Provided you have a good internet connection and access to a mobile phone, tablet or computer online therapy can be very convenient.
With online therapy, payment is agreed and made prior to the session. Rates are slightly less than face to face appointments making it cost effective and accessible. Many insurance providers cover online therapy just as they would traditional therapy sessions. Contact your insurance company to learn more about which online-therapy treatments are available and covered by your policy.
Confidentiality, Privacy, and Unreliable Technology
Keeping your personal information private is a high priority in psychotherapy, and online treatment adds an additional layer of complexity. Confidentiality is just as important in online therapy as it is in more traditional forms of treatment delivery. As information is being transmitted online, it makes privacy leaks more of a concern. However, a good online therapist will do everything possible to ensure your privacy is adequately protected as much as possible. For example: transmitting on a secure voice or webcam platform such as VSee or Zoom and communicating via an encrypted email account such as hushmail or protonmail.
Technology problems can make it difficult to access treatment or treatment can sometimes be disrupted due to technology failure. Precautions are taken prior to a session to ensure there is an adequate plan in place should there be any technology issues.
Online therapists are distant from the client, it is difficult to respond quickly and effectively when a crisis happens. If a client is experiencing suicidal thoughts or has suffered a personal tragedy, it can be difficult for the therapist to provide direct assistance. Every effort is made to ensure the client has a plan should a crisis occur and can access the appropriate help and assistance. However, it may not be the most appropriate form of therapy if you are in crisis as it would be your responsibility to access the additional services you require.
Online Therapy Is Not Appropriate for Those with Serious Psychiatric Illnesses
Online-therapy can be useful for a variety of situations, however, with more serious psychiatric illnesses that require close and direct treatment online therapy is not an appropriate form of treatment. It is also not appropriate for people with complicated or detailed problems. The scope of online therapy tends to be limited, so it is not considered effective for more complex presentations.
If you think online therapy is a good choice for you, please contact me here.