***You Have Just Joined A Room With Th3rap!st1445

from the the-doctor-is-virtually-in dept

The internet is, clearly, a communications medium. However, some would argue that it’s not appropriate for certain types of communication… just as others will go to great lengths to prove them wrong. Take online therapy, for example. It’s not a new concept. More than five years ago we wrote about some concerns concerning online therapy sessions, but it would appear that many of those concerns are being erased thanks to the convenience and anonymity afforded by therapy-via-instant messaging. Apparently, it’s become quite common, with a few different operations letting you get your half hour (or, in some cases, minute-by-minute) time on the virtual therapist’s couch. There certainly are still some who are concerned about it — saying that therapists will miss a lot of important signals in just reading the text instead of hearing the person’s tone or seeing their body manners. Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence that the “tone” of text-based communication gets misinterpreted way too often. However, it would seem that at least having this option open for some people could be greatly beneficial. Whether it’s for those who are too afraid to actually go to therapy, even though they need it — or those who need a quick bit of immediate help if they’re in trouble (one of the companies, for instance, focuses on alcohol and drug treatments), it could be quite valuable. Now we just need an emoticon to represent the therapist’s couch.

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Comments on “***You Have Just Joined A Room With Th3rap!st1445”

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Jason says:

I'm half-half

Although it can be hard to distinguish the tone of plain text, basic issues (such as relationship problems among teenagers and young adults) are very well suited for the internet. I have had many situations where I’ve written paragraph after paragraph to help my friends through issues that they didn’t have answers for on their own. Granted I don’t charge for it, and it may or may not be casual, but it works nonetheless.

In respect to helping those who are scared of therapy, or maybe don’t want to admit they are in it, I think it is a good alternative. At least it’s something. A lot of people can’t admit to a problem or get past that hump of self-acknowledgement, thus worsening the problem.

Then again, there are issues that I believe are totally unsuited for the internet. As things get more serious reading the body language and seeing someone talk abou t their problems makes a huge difference.

If anything, online therapy should be a step in the admittal process. Then, depending on how bad things seem, further counsel should be recommended from there.

anonymous Coward says:

You Have Just Joined A Room With Th3rap!st1445

I work, and have worked on certain IRC chat servers, this sort of thing is not allowed at some because of the very nature of it, and the lawsuits that can be caused from it. You are correct this is one thing that should not be permitted online. You cannot see what is happening on the other side. They can be telling you one thing, and doing a entirely different thing. They can also say they are happy, and be crying their eyes out. You would never know the difference because you are not sitting one-on-one in front of them. Too many risk involved, and too many lawsuits can follow. Plus a person in chat of any kind claiming to be a therapist may not have the right credentials to be trying to give anyone advice, much less therapy. I would not advise anyone to go this route even if it is dirt cheap.

discojohnson says:

niche market

this online therapy, IMO, is an excellent tool–when used properly. for instance: mr snuffy is having relationship issues and is trying to figure out why he has problems committing to the relationship; he is motivated enough to seek help (probably through his significant other’s persuasion) and has reason to be honest. there’s only a bank statement that shows he “went” and he avoids potentially having problems disclosing that he’s had an affair due to the sense of animinity from the internet. now, mr snuffy’s brother, a guy that killed his parents, will have to sit on the couch. for those that will seek the treatment, that is a great niche crowd for this community in question to which to cater.

jim says:


Why not use video conferencing, that way the-rapist can see the physical symptoms of emotions and respond via text or even audio……

oh ya and the-rapist is such the right term for them. In my opinion, shrinks don’t really help because its not to their advantage to help. If they cured you you wouldnt be back for more!

Oddly enough, i was court ordered to see one, and told him just that; he summed it up for me by saying, “you have a good inner child” and that was the last i seen him…..

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