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Archive for August, 2009

Online counseling or eTherapy is a new way for a client to ’see’ a therapist. Many therapists are finding online therapy is a way of increasing their client “pool” and frees them from the constraints of managed care, freeing them to “do” therapy in the way they prefer.

Online Therapy

Online Therapy

With the Gen X (29-42 year olds) and now Gen Y (18-28 year olds) population of potential clients,  online activities consume more of their daily time, and they are extremely comfortable using technology for all online activities. They are the true online natives and have integrated technology into their everyday lives. They spend more time online than Gen X, watch more online video and text message more often. Technology forms a major part of their entertainment and socializing. “Seeing” a therapist online is a natural and comfortable concept for them.

We personally interview each therapist and require that they provide a sample email session for our review. Additionally, all of our clinicians must have at least 10 years post graduate counseling experience. Ours are the highest standards of any online therapy site on the Web.

Busy schedules, difficulty with traveling to the therapist’s office, fear of going out in public, privacy concerns, and 24 hour availability are only a few of the reasons given for using our e-therapy service.

We offer email, private chat and phone sessions. Online therapy is often a comfortable, convenient way for a client to begin opening up to another person and trying out the idea of therapy, or they may already be familiar with therapy and choose this option for the added convenience and privacy it offers. Many people prefer etherapy to prevent having a mental health record with insurance companies.

Online therapy is not the same as traditional face-to-face psychotherapy. There are some people it will not work as well for. However, there is mounting evidence that it is very effective for some. An Australian researcher, Gavin Andrews, recently published a study that indicates that Internet-based therapies are as successful as face-to-face treatments at combating depression. Here is a link to another recent study with similar findings regarding online therapy and its effectiveness.

Many more people need therapy than those who are already receiving it. In 2005, NPR reported that barely a third of Americans with mental illness get proper treatment. For many the stigma associated with seeking mental health treatment still gets in the way, or trust issues make it difficult to sit with someone in person while revealing personal information. Online therapy can also feel safer or like a good first step for those who feel overwhelmed at the prospect of seeking help and the trust risks involved.

For example, many sexual abuse survivors report that they feel too frightened to see a therapist in person, at least in the initial stages of their healing. It may be much less frightening for them to receive therapy online from the safety and familiarity of their own home.

All of our therapists have passed our thorough screening process, are licensed or certified in their states, and are carefully selected to be part of our network based on their demonstrated professional excellence. Our goal is to provide the consumer of mental health services with another therapy option and to offer only the most expert therapeutic services available online. We offer the following services:

Email Sessions

After purchasing an email session, the client compete a Pre-Session form (intake) which tells you therapist about the clients reasons for seeking therapy. After reviewing the  Pre-Session form the therapist responds by email with a well thought out answer within 2 business days. Our therapists spend approximately 30 minutes on their response. This process is one email session.

With e-mail, much of the benefit for the client is from the writing itself. Therapists often encourage clients to keep journals or write to help clarify and express their thoughts.

A client may have a simple one-time question, or you may choose to use this as a way to establish a longer term relationship with a therapist.

Private Online Chat and Phone Sessions

Telephone and online chat offer additional options from which to choose. For those who have never tried chat, it’s a very simple process. After purchasing a session and completing a Pre-Session form, you meet your client online here, in your “virtual office.” You type a message to your client and he/she responds by typing back immediately, in real time. We provide the secure chat software as part of your Virtual Office. All sessions are scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.  Phone sessions take place by phone and are scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.

We believe the demand for online therapy will increase and since our launch in 2000, we have seen this on our site. In the first quarter of 2009, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of clients, some of which is attributable to the recession, but most because of the convenience it offers.

To learn more or apply to be part of our network, click here: http://www.etherapistsonline.com/therapy/join2.htm

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