Online Therapy, Ethics and Mental Health Services

The internet has created a whole new way of seeing common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and academic problems: online mental health services. You choose an E clinic, then select from a selection of counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers online. You then set up a time and date on the website and pay.

On the day you are scheduled to see the therapist you are sent a reminder email, then go to your computer, click a link, and then talk or chat with your therapist who you can actually see via video-audio-conferencing, audio-conferencing, or just chat. You can communicate with your therapist via email for simple questions that don't require ongoing therapy.

It is easy to find an E-therapist online, but it is important that you keep an eye out for red flags.

1. First, don't pay per minute for therapists who use that E clinic. It is unprofessional and unethical to charge people with concentrating or thinking problems per minute. Sometimes, when you have psychological problems, you want to talk for hours or you can't believe how fast the time passes.

2. The second reason is to avoid an online therapy center whose therapist has been publicly reviewed and rated. Mental health professionals work with clients who are angry today but happy tomorrow. Online therapists may feel they must make you happy to be rated. This isn't how therapy works. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it can lead to better mental health.

3. Third, if an online therapist can be accessed from another state and the therapist isn't licensed in your state, they are violating professional and legal standards. This is crucial. The E clinic should not allow or encourage therapists from States that they aren't licensed or insured to treat clients. This is unethical behavior. Some centers offer "time zone conversions" for online therapists to help them see clients from other Time Zone States.