Vital essentials to consider before turning to online counseling – Look before you leap

Getting therapy from a long distance is an idea which seems to make few people queasy but as times have changed, an increasingly large number of people have been turning to get mental health through all the non-traditional means like video conferencing, telephone and email chat. It was during the dot-com bubble burst that e-counseling or online therapy came into existence and since then as technology got its new advancements, this form of therapy gradually started getting popular. Now you will come across several comprehensive websites which feature several support groups, self-help quizzes, professional blogs and resources for professionals and patients.

Before you seek help of companies like, you have to consider few areas so that you’re sure about the services that you get. Here are few.

  • Licensing

You may have come across advertisements where they have claimed of having ‘licensed professionals’. This sounds great but is this actually true? You have to cross-check whether or not the counselor who is providing you with help is licensed in your state. In case your therapist is just licensed in California and you reside somewhere in Delaware, he would be technically practicing without a license and this is illegal. In case something goes wrong, you will end up with very little legal recourse.

  • Shortcuts

One more concern about ethics and psychologists are that they are known to take shortcuts. A critical part of face-to-face counseling is to notify patients about the privacy and confidentiality up front and this includes addressing exceptions. If you find the online counselor taking the path of shortcuts, you should well understand that you’re on the wrong path. You should question yourself whether or not the therapist is informing yourself about all sorts of confidentiality.

  • Reliability on technology

In spite of the fast advancing technology, the internet still faces different kinds of shortcomings. Though websites are usually made secure, chat sessions and emails can be hijacked unless there are both party encryptions. In case the service or the internet connection drops at the moment when you divulged your darkest secret, what are you supposed to do?

  • Backup

The issues which come in the forefront during the therapy are usually explored for the very first time and there may be times when the emotions can unexpectedly spill forth. What should an online counselor do in case the client gets emotional during the session? What if the internet connection gets disconnected during such a time? Will the counselor call you instead or will he forget about you. Remember to look for a counselor who has enough ability to respond to your serious needs.

Therefore, when you’re eager to seek help of an e-counselor, make sure you take into account the above mentioned points so as to end up with the best one.