Serenity Online Therapy offers SSL encryption protocol to insure privacy in online counseling. Serenity Online Therapy offers secure chat therapy and email counseling with Carl Benedict, a licensed professional counselor.

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Carl Benedict offers online counseling on his web site Serenity Online Therapy.
HomeMy Credentials / Counseling Philosophy / Online Therapy Risks & Benefits  / Services & Fees / ConfidentialityBegin Therapy / In Crisis Now? / Contact Me / Carl's YouTube Videos / Sitemap

Online Therapy Benefits & Risks: Is It Right For You?

Online therapy, whether through Chat Therapy, Phone Therapy, or Email Counseling, is not the same experience as face-to-face therapy but rather a unique experience of its own that may be helpful to some individuals and not to others.

In addition, online therapy is relatively new, therefore only a small body of research exists to support it's effectiveness. This does not mean that online therapy is ineffective but rather that it should be considered experimental at this stage of its development.

I believe online therapy can be effective and helpful for the right person in the right circumstances. Please read the following pros and cons to see if online therapy might be right for you.

POSSIBLE ADVANTAGES and BENEFITS OF ONLINE THERAPY ARE:

  • You can engage in therapy even if you are homebound or live in a remote area.
  • You can have access to an English-speaking therapist even if you live in a foreign country.
  • You can keep the same therapist if you tend to relocate frequently.
  • You can send emails at anytime of the day or night.
  • You will have an automatic written record of the therapy.
  • You can read the therapist's responses as often as is helpful to you.
  • You can take as much time as needed to compose your emails.
  • You can choose a single consultation or ongoing therapy.
  • You do not have to travel to a therapist's office or mental health clinic.
  • It's possible to engage in therapy from home, work, or even while traveling.
  • Online therapy is generally more affordable than face-to-face therapy.
  • Online therapy can be less intimidating with no stigma attached.

POSSIBLE DISADVANTAGES and RISKS OF ONLINE THERAPY ARE:

  • The lack of body language and verbal (spoken) cues;
  • The possibility of misunderstandings due to text-based communications;
  • Problems associated with technology failures (i.e., power outages, crashes);
  • Risks to confidentiality due to technology (i.e. hackers);
  • Potential difficulties in verifying the identity of either party;
  • Problems in helping a suicidal or homicidal client;
  • The requirement of being comfortable with computers and keyboards;
  • The fact that insurance companies generally will  not pay for online therapy.

YOU SHOULD NOT CONSIDER ONLINE THERAPY IF:

  • You have serious thoughts of hurting yourself or others - if so, go to In Crisis Now?;
  • You have a chronic mental illness requiring intense treatment;
  • You prefer face-to-face therapy and it is available to you;
  • You are uncomfortable with computers and keyboards.

ALTERNATIVES TO ONLINE THERAPY:

  • Face-to-face therapy or counseling from a mental health professional;
  • Finding a support group in the community;
  • Using family or friends as supports;
  • Reading self-help books.

Below is Carl's 8-minute YouTube video of this article:

 

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HomeMy Credentials / Counseling Philosophy / Online Therapy Risks & Benefits  / Services & Fees / ConfidentialityBegin Therapy /  In Crisis Now? / Contact Me / Carl's YouTube Videos / Sitemap

Copyright 2005-2017 Serenity Online Therapy
All Text and many photos by Carl Benedict

"Our very life depends on everything's recurring till we answer from within."  Robert Frost