The Globe and Mail published an article called Online Therapy: The faceless cure? written by Sharon Crawford. The article discusses the pros and cons of using email and chat as a counseling medium. She created a create list of wise things to do when considering online counselling.
List of things to consider when looking for e-help (by Sharon Crawford).
- Research different therapists on-line. Make sure they have specific training doing on-line therapy.
- Send an e-mail message to see if they are experienced with your problem or similar problems.
- Make sure therapists belong to a professional organization requiring them to adhere to ethical guidelines.
- Find out the cost. (Usually an hourly rate similar to conventional therapy.)
- Make sure that the service (chat or e-mail) has a secure encrypted system.
- Don't use public computers. Use your own computer, which other family members cannot access.
- Try out the chat or e-mail to see if you and the therapist get along.
- If the connection between you and the therapist doesn't feel right, switch therapy or therapist.
- On e-mail, make sure the therapist will respond fairly quickly.
- With e-mail, read over your message a couple of times before pressing "send."
Although counseling by phone is a different experience for both the therapist and the client, many of above considerations apply.