August 13, 2012
Online therapy has emerged as a viable new option in the helping profession. Online therapy or e-therapy occurs when a therapist provides therapy and support over the Internet. E-mail, chat, video, or smart phone are all ways individuals can communicate through online therapy. Online therapy websites are abounding on the Internet, any individual seeking online therapy will surely find what they are looking for. This paper will evaluate and explain the content from three online therapy sites, how professional associations and state regulatory boards view online therapy, the security and ethical issues involved with online therapy, and the advantages and disadvantages of online therapy.
According to Mytherapycouch.com (2012), “Mytherapycouch.com is the cultivated brainchild of a group of dedicated mental health professionals who joined with a group of IT experts - all who share one vision: Create a therapeutic, virtual community of individuals with a focus on nurturing and compassionate guidance.” Mytherapycouch.com is devoted to providing individuals with a safe and positive place to develop (Mytherapycouch.com, 2012). Each therapist employed by the site is a carefully selected fully licensed clinical or counseling psychologist. Each therapist must at least five years of professional experience (Mytherapycouch.com, 2012). The site has pictures of each therapist along with a quick biography for individuals to read. The sites IT staff has over 20 years of experience designing advanced, high-volume platforms to provide users with a rich, interactive online experience. The site provides individuals with group, and one-on-one counseling services.
Mytherapycouch.com offers many ways for individuals to interact with each other as well as the staff (Mytherapycouch.com, 2012). MyTherapyCouch.com provides basic forums free of charge to the community but encourage individuals to participate in the sites paid only support groups. Individuals who participate can earn rewards through a point system which helpful contributions can earn cool forum perks as well as free memberships to the paid-only support groups (Mytherapycouch.com, 2012). Mythrapycouch.com taker the sites public forums very seriously and do not tolerate abusive or unconstructive individuals. The site provides individual with a free question and answer forum, private support groups, and direct counseling. The private support groups provide individuals with professional input and privacy. Direct counseling is personalized, qualified, and convenient. The site matches individuals with therapists who are familiar with the individual’s issue. The online interaction occurs through e-mail only, the site does not instant messaging or phone and video chat.
LivePerson provides individuals with a safe and easy enviroment. The site is the world’s number one online counseling expert (LivePerson, 2012). LivePerson provides services to thousands of people worldwide. The site operate 24 hours a day and employs professionals who are experts in more than 600 categories, some of which include sex therapy, family therapy, ADD and ADHD, depression, anxiety, stress, addiction, and so on (LivePerson, 2012). LivePerson provides a user-friendly platform for individuals to find professionals at the moment the individual would like (LivePerson, 2012). The sites online interaction occurs through live chat and e-mail. According to LivePerson (2012), “LivePerson users maintain anonymity within a completely safe and secure platform. Our online counseling takes place in a private and strictly confidential environment with anonymous...