E-therapy to eventually replace traditional talk-therapy?

Posted by Dr. Brent Conrad, author of The Computer, Internet, and Video Game Addiction Workbook

Will e-therapy become a real alternative to traditional one-on-one therapy from a mental health professional?

e-therapy

"Tell me about your relationship with your programmer...I mean your mother..."

For most people dealing with psychological or emotional problems, in-person contact with a qualified psychologist or counselor has been the obvious source for professional help. However, for a growing number of people, e-therapy (online therapy conducted via chat, email, or webcam) is becoming a popular alternative.

This article provides a good overview of the pros of e-therapy such as:

Convenience - Can be accessed by anyone, anywhere

Affordable – E-therapy is usually significantly less expense than an in-person session

Promotes Honesty – The argument is that people are generally more honest about their true feelings when online

In contrast, the cons of e-therapy include:

No Contact – May decrease therapist-client trust

No Research – Is e-therapy effective? Hard to say as there has been little research to date.

No Accountability for the Patient – There may be less commitment to e-therapy and less motivation to continue

 

 

After doing a quick search for e-therapists, I would also add a lack of accountability for the service provider - there appears to be some pretty sketchy characters offering e-therapy (wild claims, questionable credentials, etc) and I would really do my homework before considering an e-therapist over an in-person appointment with a registered (and qualified) psychologist.

If you needed to talk to a mental health professional, would you consider paying for an e-therapist?

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Posted on March 1, 2012, in Treatment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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