Counseling online

Online counseling (AKA online therapy, e-therapy, or counseling chats) is realtime chatting or instant messaging on the computer. It could be a good choice if you live in a rural area, don’t have reliable transportation, or you are homebound.

• If you travel often, it’s easier to keep regular appointments.
• Writing about your problem can be therapeutic.
• It’s something you can do during a lunch break.
• It’s good for deaf and hard of hearing clients.
• Counseling chats are less expensive than face-to-face visits. No babysitting hassle!

However, here are some of the risks:
• We might miss non-verbal cues.
• We might not attach the right “tone” to a question, an answer, a conversation.
• Being separated by a monitor could prevent us from creating the warm, caring relationship that benefits treatment.
Of course, as with every online activity, you should be aware of the risk of hackers obtaining access to your private information. Please keep your virus protection, firewall and other precautions up to date.

Some alternatives to online therapy include in-office visits; talking to a friend or family member; or not doing anything at all!

If you’re a California resident and would like to talk about online counseling, feel free to call (818) 835-2514 in Woodland Hills or email us at info@mcgarvatherapy.com.

In the news:
signonsandiego May 26, 2011
Effectiveness of Online Therapy