Type “online counsellor” into any internet search engine and hundreds of thousands of results will appear: with a click of the mouse, and a glance at a screen, you, too, can be cured of your depression, phobias and eating disorders, go the claims. Unbelieveable? Perhaps not. A growing body of research has found that when – and this is crucial – it is carried out responsibly, and kept specific, online therapy is one of the most effective ways of dealing with the rising levels of mental ill-health.
Some of us have been doing this sort of thing for a while. I’ve coached people via e-mail, Instant Messaging, and phone. I’m always careful to test — even more often than while face-to-face — and I’m far more likely to be explicit and overt. I can’t say I like doing it as much as face-to-face, but it can work.
I wouldn’t want an inexperienced or poorly-trained person doing it, though.
What do you think?
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