of Online Counseling and Consultation
there are several differences between online
counseling and in office visits, there can
be some definite advantages to doing some
therapeutic work online. For example, online
work can be particularly useful:
those who don’t yet want to expose
their face to be seen by anyone, and prefer
to stay safely hidden in the safety of their
own homes for right now
For those who live in areas without a trained
For those who need confidentiality from
the people in their immediate community.
Sometimes communities are too small, or
too emotionally tangled, and exposing your
personal issues may make you too vulnerable.
You might want to go further out of the
loop for your personal issues.
For those who are starving for comfort and
support when do people ever really
have more support than they need?
For those that need a creative schedule
for their healing -- one that can work around
the many other schedules that keep you too
busy to get to a therapist’s office
during normal working hours. You can write
your e-mail at anytime of day or night!
For those who find it too complicated to
take time off of work to drive to appointments
For those that are house bound, for any
number of reasons. If you can’t get
out for help, help can come to you!
For those that travel a lot, and are not
consistently in one place…computers
are everywhere and can travel with you.
Your therapeutic support does not have to
end or repeatedly be disrupted just because
you are out of town.
For those that want a second opinion or
For those that are struggling to have their
words heard before they forget them themselves.
You can write your e-mail when the issue
is at its peak. There with no risk of forgetting
it or losing the intensity of the issue
while you wait for your next appointment.
For those that need even more support than
they already have for the most difficult
of issues (ie: self harm, trauma resolution
/ memory work, chronic suicidality, DID
system work, etc.)
For those who can use writing as a tool
for self expression. Remember to use the
facial icons and graphics available to help
with emotional expression!
For those who have amnesia, and would like
to remember their session time, having IM
interactions or e-mail responses in print
provides this information.
For those who do not want insurance companies
to control and dictate and peer into your
therapy and medical records, online consultation
provides you with more anonymity, privacy,
and personal control of your mental health
is a therapeutic tool that allows you to take
as much time as you need to put your words
into the best presentation possible. How many
of us have stumbled around, talking in circles,
trying to say what it is that needs to be
said, only to have the time fly past, and
not having accomplished our goal? In writing,
you can write, and re-write your words until
you are happy with what they say.
the forcing of yourself to put your thoughts
into cohesive, understandable sentences is
a therapeutic process on its own accord. You
will be pleased with how much you can put
together yourself, just by writing it all
down in a way to make someone else understand.
are often braver in their writings, and can
type questions or comments that they wouldn’t
dare say in a face-to-face meeting. The physical
distance can give you safety from embarrassment
or shame or fear. Meanwhile, this distance
can actually allow some therapeutic progress
to occur on these most difficult of issues,
comfortably in the safety and privacy of your
own home. The distance gives you time to work
through the feelings you do not yet want visibly
exposed to other people.
can also read and re-read the responses you
receive in your clinical consultation. This
makes it possible that deeper therapeutic
learning can take place since the page can
be read over and over again. No more trying
to remember what was said… now you
will know! For those of you that are dissociative,
writing and reading the clinical responses
can be a real help in understanding and meeting
your internal system. It can be a concrete
aid in overcoming some of the amnesia you
folks with DID, there are usually a ton of
rules against talking, telling, writing, or
even drawing. However, I have found that for
some folks, their system feels safer doing
therapeutic work via the computer because
they were not punished for and were not programmed
against telling (or typing) on the computer.
When they were children, there were no rules
against sending emails, no rules about instant
messages, and no rules about any type of computer
communication. Rules about computers were
not enforced during those childhood years
when they were being threatened, hurt and
abused for telling anything to anybody, because
most people did not have computers then. So,
for those folks with “don’t
tell rules”, the computer becomes a
safe way to talk because it isn’t breaking
the perpetrator’s rules. It’s
a good safe place to start!!
we know, getting started can be the hardest
part it is scary to test the waters
and to start telling about your abuse, so
with telling made as safe as possible, therapeutic
progress can be made quickly.
on the computer, the different parts can still
be seen. Switches may become evident thru
a change in font, or a change in spelling
ability, or by a new paragraph, or by a completely
different writing style. Don’t assume
that the therapist can’t “see”
a switch even though they may not be seeing
you in person! The computer can be very visual,
so a perceptive therapist can tell differences
in presentation via the web just like in the