The idea behind counselling has been around since people first started to use language. It is sharing problems in order to find solutions and receive some support. Many people get this sort of support from family and friends, but sometimes it is helpful to talk things out with someone who is not involved in a personal way. In keeping with the progress of technology and the ubiquity of the World Wide Web, these days there is no need to leave the comfort of your own home in order to reap these therapeutic advantages via e-therapy oronline counseling.
E-therapy or online therapy is an electronic way of getting supportive online counselling either through email or online chat. Your online therapy experience will be all about your needs and what you need to talk about. Perhaps you are having relationship difficulties; maybe you are dealing with a loss or struggling through a life transition. Perhaps you need more support than you are getting from you face to face therapist or you might simply have some questions and you need a few brief consultations. You might also want someone to come alongside you and help you explore your life and challenge your growth existentially or spiritually over a longer period.
What you won’t find in an online counselling relationship is psychotherapy, diagnosis or treatment of medical disorders. Any e-therapist worth her weight in gold will refer you should she feel that she is out of her depth or that you would be better suited to face to face therapy. E-therapy is more directive in its approach, somewhat like coaching, in that you will be offered some skills to deal with some of your difficulties. For example, if you are particularly anxious an online counsellor might try and teach meditative techniques or mindfulness-based stress reduction as a skill that you can keep with you – something akin to teaching you how to fish.
E-therapy does have its disadvantages, but those very same shortfalls can be its saving grace. The anonymity of online therapy allows for an element of dis-inhibition in that there are no social and non-verbal cues to overcome, no embarrassment to deal with and no concerns about confidentiality as you are safely tucked away behind your computer. And who cares what some chick at the tip of Africa thinks of you anyway, you are never going to meet her!
E-therapy's strength is also its weakness. The anonymity afforded in cyberspace means that there is no non-verbal communication. As a result both of us need to work harder at making ourselves understood and checking that there are no misunderstandings.
Cyberspace also obliterates geographical boundaries and you might find yourself in a therapeutic relationship with someone in another country with different ways of being to you that you might simply find surprising. For example your counsellor might have different ways of spelling or not know about important news that is local to your area.
For more information about e-therapy contact CyberShrink