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Is Online Therapy an option for me?

answered 01:35 PM EST, Sun March 04, 2012
Is online therapy a possible fit for someone who is having a hard time with some OCD-like issues (not sure if it is OCD or not but I am having trouble with obsessive thoughts and with controlling certain behaviors.) I think I would benefit most from some sort of behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapy. I am almost constantly on the road so if this can be done online or over the phone that would work best for me…not sure if the doctor’s office thing is even an option for me for the next few months, actually.

Art Matthews Says...

Online therapy does sound like a good option for you based on the fact that you are traveling a great deal and the types of therapies that you are interested in (behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy) are easily adapted to online therapy. CBT involves frequent homework assignments and journaling in a structured format that helps the client engage in self-directed progress. However, Online or Distance Counseling may not be a good choice if it allows you to avoid certain triggers to anxiety and therefore interferes with extinguishing those triggers. Online therapy is never a good option for those people with safety concerns (actively suicidal, deeply depressed) or experiencing psychotic symptoms.

When looking for a distance therapist, I'd recommend that you look for someone who is a Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) or has some other certification or qualifications in distance counseling. To locate a DCC go to: http://www.cce-global.org/Pub/Search There are a great deal of practical, ethical and legal issues to understand and attend to that the average therapist without proper training and experience can overlook, placing your progress and/or safety at risk.

If you are looking for a website that specializes in distance counseling that has taken an ethical and reasoned approach, look for such sites as TherapyLiveCare that vet and qualify the professionals working on their site. I am a provider with TherapyLiveCare (connected with MDLiveCare) and can personally vouch for their interest in providing quality, ethical and effective therapy via distance. They engage in the practice of limiting the clients a counselor works with to those in the client's state in order to avoid any state licensing restrictions related to the distance provision of psychotherapy and counseling services.

Beware of sites that provide all sorts of "experts" in various healthcare and non-health related professions as these sites are extremely expensive (charging by the minute), often do not vet their professionals and have little consideration for the legal restrictions on distance counseling imposed by states, provinces, etc. I have also had experience with sites such as this and found that they were not concerned for the client's safety or respective of the therapist's expertise in handling clients in crisis.

Just as in any service provider, it is your responsibility to do your due diligence in research the background and qualifications of your healthcare providers. Never assume that initials and titles will assure that you are getting quality care.

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Page last updated Mar 09, 2012

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