What exactly is online counselling all about?

What I do has been called various names, including online therapy, email therapy, virtual therapy, and cyber-counselling. But, frankly, no matter what it is called, it is a powerful therapeutic tool that has the potential for helping people gain insight into and then resolve problems that interfere with the quality of their lives. I currently use email exchanges or online voice chat in my therapy work. 

Email exchanges offer clients time to reflect on what they have written to me and my reply. I have found that this inherent time delay, sometimes called "the zone of reflection", can be extremely helpful in working through thoughts and feelings. Just the process of writing down your thoughts and feelings can be very cathartic. Writing can lead to valuable personal insights. Clients tell me that, right from the start, writing to me about painful issues feels easier than talking about the same issues face-to-face.

Online counselling has a “liberating” or “disinhibiting” effect, in general. We feel less inhibited when we write to someone who is a bit “anonymous”, so we feel safer and are therefore less likely to censor our thoughts. Writing about our thoughts and feelings freely, without censorship, allows us to get to the root of our problems relatively quickly when compared to traditional face-to-face psychotherapy. 

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