As a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in short-term counseling I am very excited about using the internet to offer counseling or, “cybertherapy”. It, however, is not the same as psychotherapy. The limitations of cybertherapy include not being able to see the client face to face and knowing the client is not even in close proximity. Some of the constraints this causes include not being able to see the client’s facial expressions, gestures, manner of dress, and hygiene. Even something as detailed as the client’s tone of voice is important to a good therapist but I will not be able to judge these things. So please take measures to see if cybertherapy is appropriate for you. If not I encourage you to find a good therapist through word of mouth, the telephone book under counselors or psychologists, and through social service agencies.
I do believe there are some advantages to this type of counseling. The first being physical anonymity. Many people avoid seeing a therapist because they don’t want to be seen going in. I know the waiting room of a therapist’s office is one of the most tense places there can be. The second positive involves cost. My charge is $35 per e-mail exchange. This is cheaper than a half-hour face to face session and there is no managed care or insurance hassles. I work on a model of very short-term therapy so this style of counseling fits well. Another model that I see this fitting with is a very popular concept sweeping our country and that is “coaching” not as deep as therapy but with the same end goal of moving forward to a balanced, happy, and energetic life.