• Joanne Bergmann-Goodhall

What you need to know before choosing an online therapist

With the internet being almost globally accessible, with a click of a mouse you can now be connected to a therapist of your choosing. But before you sign up to a therapist, there are a couple of points you need to consider before choosing

Most psychotherapists refer to online therapy as telepsychology. It's also known as web therapy or online therapy. It has many benefits - such as

* It can be convenient

You can schedule sessions with your therapist at time that suits you both. In reality it can be in the 30 minutes you have sitting on a couch between arriving home from work and before cooking your dinner. There is also no need to travel to see the therapist, as it's all done from wherever you have a wifi or phone signal

* It can be less expensive

Since the therapist doesn't have to include physical areas for you to sit including all the costs these involve (rental, heat, lighting, insurance, etc.etc) they can pass these savings onto you directly. Usually this can reduce the headline rate by quite a large margin if you're living in an expensive city location

* Online communication is comfortable and normal for many people

Nearly everyone has an online presence with their mobile or home computer. The technology is so commonplace that everyone has the capability nowdays to attend a virtual session. Some people also find it more comfortable and are able to talk and relate better to someone on the end of a video session rather than face-to-face

* It's accessible

If you can't make it into the therapists location, or if they don't offer for example wheelchair friendly access, online therapy can be far more accessible.

There are however some point to consider when using an online therapist.

* Is this the right tool for me?

If you're a straight shooter and need that physical interaction between people to get the session going, you may find that online therapy is a bit distant for you.

* Is the site secure?

For our service for example, we only offer online services with conferencing products that offer complete end-to-end encryption. The therapist you connect to will still be in their home or office location that is secured, and cannot be overheard by anyone else. In addition we cover all the basic therapeutic security requirements - securely stored notes, session details, etc.

* How will you pay for the service?

Most online therapists require you to pay in advance for a service. We think that this doesn't help in promoting a good relationship with the client. At the end of the session we will invite you to pay via an e-mailed invoice when the session is finished. We will never ask for a deposit or payment in advance.

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