Theimproved use of technology across different sectors is instigatingpeople to opt to online therapy sites. The sites provide informationand steps that people may use to guide them through different issues.It has been beneficial to many people though it can bedisadvantageous to many. It has come to the attention of the mentalhealth industry key players that people are accessing. The differentmeans of communication include email, live chats, and Skype. Theonline therapy should not be the entire mean of therapy but is shouldinclude the conventional methods that back up the new processes.
Onlinetherapy attracts people for various reasons. First, it ensures theconfidentiality of the information given by the therapists to theclient. However, this assumption only holds when the psychologist istrustworthy with the data given by the patient. Secondly, it is cheapcompared with the conventional methods that require the physicalpresence of the patient in the psychologists’ premises. Patientscan access the professionals from the comfort of their home. Also,the patient can remain anonymous to the psychologists, and they canaccess their therapists any time of the day. People use variousonline platforms
LivePerson is a site that brings people seeking help together where theycan access helpers from the comfort of their houses. It provides auser-friendly platform for its clients. It aids clients in findingthe right answer to their problems, and it has an attribute of beingreliable. Clients log into the site by first registering andproviding their basic personal details. Secondly, they choose theirpreferred way of communication. The platform gives the option of livechat or through email. There is always a therapist on the other end,and they attend to the clients according to their stated problems(ADCA, 2015).
Beforechoosing the right client to attend to them, the platform gives theclients a chance to review the files of the available therapists andget insight on their expertise and charges. They then contact themthe through their chosen method. The site indicates the availabilityof the therapists with whom the clients establish rapport byinitiating communication. The clients only make payments when theyare ready, and the site facilitates the payments by linking theclients to the payment accounts.
Anonline therapy website provides an interactive process betweenclients seeking marriage solutions from qualified professionals.Clients can communicate with the professional through email or livecalls. Before beginning the session, each client fills a compulsoryquestionnaire where they give their basic information. It enables theprofessionals to place them in their right context. The professionalsreview the questionnaire and prepare a schedule for the clientsdepending on their distinct needs.
Sincethis is a marriage platform, the therapist allows clients to interactwith their spouses since they believe that online counseling is onlysuccessful if clients find help from a variety of sources. Clientsprefer the website for its credible recommendations that help themout of their problems. The process does not end at the termination ofthe therapy services. The therapists follow-up to monitor theprogress of their clients and they establish a close relationship(ADCA, 2015).
Anotherimportant aspect of this website is that it gives clients printablematerials that they can use whenever they are not communicating withtheir therapist. As an ethical and quality control, the platform doesnot encourage individuals who are in danger of abuse or violence seekhelp through the online method. They encourage and guide the clientsto find physical help from the relevant authorities.
Serenityis an online therapy suite created by Carl Benedict, who is alicensed practitioner by the board of professional counselors andTherapists. He uses his long experience in mental health to provideindividual therapy to individual without having to meet themphysically. The website specializes in grief counseling, angermanagement, codependency and other forms of therapy.
Althoughthe website provides information that online therapy is not differentfrom physical contact, it warns that each case presented by anindividual is distinct. Therefore, the results may be desirable inone individual and not in another. Clients log into the website andinitiate contact with the therapist who schedules them into hisprogram (ADCA, 2015).
Obligationsof the professional and national regulatory bodies
Thenational and state bodies regulating the practice of therapist in thefields have strict rules that aim at maintaining the quality of theservices given by the therapist. The national council of professionalcounselors and therapists require all the online professionals tohave a valid practicing license (ACA, 2015). The entire professionalsin the online platform must follow the initial ethical guidelines setby the bodies relating to handling the clients and their data. Theyalso ensure that the care given to clients fall within the legalstandards. They insist on the need for clients to have acquaintancewith all the processes that accompany the service that they receivefrom the therapists.
Ethicaland security issues
Theissues of ethical and security are of utmost importance when it comeshandling clients. To ensure that the ethical standards becomeenforced, the online therapists have to fulfill the requirements setby the American Counseling body and the Association for Counselingand Therapy Online. There are also bodies like American,Psychological Association Services by Telephone, Teleconferencing andInternet (ACA, 2015).
Theonline platforms ensure the security of the data by using specialsoftware recommended by the regulating bodies. The websiteadministrators also encrypt the emails of the clients to ensure thatchannel is only in use for therapy purposes only. In case the emailgets to another receiver other than the intended one, they cannotaccess the confidential information.
Advantagesand disadvantages of the online therapy
Theadvantages of online therapy include flexible time schedules and theavailability of professional. As noted above, the websites havetherapists at the service of the client round the clock. Clients canget help at any time of the day without visiting the professionals.It also promotes confidentiality especially with clients who mightshy off from physical contact with therapists.
However,it denies clients a close relationship with their therapist that ispossible through face-to-face communication. In addition, itinconveniences the clients, especially during a power failure. Therecannot be communication during the scheduled time.
Inconclusion, the online therapist flexible source of help forembattled people. It is the solution to people living far from theirtherapist. The increased of technology provides a fertile ground forit to thrive. However, the regulating bodies should be on the lookoutfor any quacks that might tarnish the profession masquerading asqualified professionals.
AmericanCounseling Association (ACA) (2015). Membershipto the Association.Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/
AmericanDistance Counseling Association (ADCA). (2015). Websitesfor Therapists.Retrieved from http://www.adca-online.org/