Online or e-psychotherapy is a relatively new development in which a therapist or counselor provides psychological advice and support over the Internet. It utilizes the power and convenience of the Internet to allow simultaneous (synchronous) and time-delayed (asynchronous) communication between an individual and a professional.
Primary tools for communicating in online therapy include:
- E-mail – It offers the convenience of not having to leave home, the privacy of not being seen or heard and the added advantage that you can choose to write in your own time.
- Instant Messaging (IM) – Instant message software such as Skype and Windows Messenger makes it possible to participate in therapy without being seen or heard.
Online psychotherapy has the advantages of being convenient to provider and client, user friendly, and utilizing the latest technological procedures to provide confidential. It is usually affordable. 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.
Online psychotherapy is suitable for those with problems like anxiety or depression, relationship issues, sexuality concerns, confidence, shyness, addiction, career problems or burnout or difficulties with life direction and purpose.