Is Online Therapy for me?

Suitability for Online Therapy

1. You are an adult of over 18 years of age.

2. You have access to a private computer that is connected to the internet and have access to it for sessions either by email, video conferencing (Skype) or instant message (Skype) and can undergo confidential therapy sessions lasting an hour or more.  If the connection is at any time problematic, a different method such as telephone may be used.

3. If using email, you have technical ability to set up and use encrypted email such as hushmail [hushmail.com] and can access this email within the agreed timeframe after our first contact.  Further details can be sent at the.  If there are any problems with this method of communication, a different method will need to be sourced.

4. You can demonstrate understanding of this method of communication and timescales utilised with synchronous (immediate such as instant messaging) or asynchronous (emails sent and responded to at different times) and understanding of how writing can be beneficial therapeutically.  You can write as much as you want and as your therapist I will respond within the agreed time frame unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

5. What prior understanding, experience have you previously had of “cyberspace” and online relationships?  Do you undertake other activities online such as social networks and forums?

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6. Compare this with face to face chatting, how does this compare?  Which feels most comfortable for you?

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7. You may already have expectations of therapy.  What do you hope to gain?

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8. If you have any of the following conditions, please check out other forms of support such as face to face counselling, or the Samaritans if more urgent help is required: www.samaritans.org.

–  Feeling suicidal
–  Borderline personality disorder
–  Self-harming behaviour
–  Drink problems
–  Drug abuse
–  Serious mental health problems (Schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, paranoia)

9. Therapy is designed to be affordable yet valuable.  A cheaper price may not guarantee good value.  The more expensive the therapy, the more you need to be sure this is what you want and what the therapist can provide.  I will provide in-between session check-ups as part of your total fee.  A minimum of three email sessions is recommended to ensure you get the best care.  Thereafter, one-off emails are perfectly reasonable as a top up.

10. Interruptions to therapy.  With the best will in the world, therapy may be interrupted.  This may be because the client has things to attend to or the therapist has things to attend to.  If interruptions are unavoidable and therapy has been paid for, both therapist and client agree to discuss this and agree on the next available date for resuming therapy.  If sessions have been booked and not paid for, the therapist reserves the right to withhold therapy until sessions have been paid for.  This is to protect the therapist from loss of income.

11. If therapy has been interrupted and session fees paid for, therapy can be resumed for a period of up to six months following payment.  Prior to this time, sessions can be refunded pro rata depending on the balance / session rate.

12. Hiding physical issues.  Sometimes online therapy can be ideal if a client finds it hard to meet someone face to face.  However the disadvantage of online therapy is that visual clues can be missed and might inhibit the extent of the therapeutic alliance.

13. Cross-cultural issues.  Online therapy may overlook some cross-cultural cues yet conversely may make things smoother.  This may be highlighted once therapy gets underway and this is also where clear communication as to what each party means is vital.  If at any point either party makes an assumption that is incorrect, this needs to be discussed with care.

14. Many other therapeutic resources are available online beyond your therapist.  A good therapist will point you in the direction of other resources if appropriate, or may source pictures and diagrams to help you.  There are also online forums, messaging groups and other online therapy sites to carry out various exercises in between your therapy sessions.

15. If you have access to a printer and scanner, you can print them out, use them creatively and then scan and email back to your therapist.  If you do not have access to a printer or scanner, then please let your therapist know at the start of therapy.

16. Remember if you are feeling suicidal, make sure you are registered with your doctor and have emergency numbers to hand at all times.  Obvious numbers to have to hand are:

– 999
– Local Doctor
– Samaritans (24 hours per day, 7 days per week): tel: 08457 90 90 90* (UK); 1850 60 90 90* (ROI) email: jo@samaritans.org, website: http://www.samaritans.org

Please sign to say you have read this document and are happy to proceed on this basis.

 

Signed: …………….…………………………………….     Date: …………………….