Online Therapy

Online therapy is one of the major breakthroughs in mental illness treatment. It has helped very many people in response to their treatment and they have acquired treatment in good time. The advantages to online therapy are numerous. According the different sources, one of the main advantages of online therapy is that it is cheaper and easily accessible. In addition, people are comfortable talking about their personal matters online as compared to face-to-face therapy. However, the sources have also provided the different advantages which if reviewed and implemented, they can improve treatment through online therapy.

The article, Disadvantages of counseling or therapy by email, states that apart from the different advantages that are there in online therapy, there are other disadvantages that affect online therapy. Most of the disadvantages started as soon as the program was initiated as early as 1982 (Mulhauser, 2011). The different disadvantages are lack of privacy, machine break down and lack of visual contact with the patient or the doctor. There are many others but this are the most common and important. In the internet, emails can be read by anyone before they reach the intended viewer of the email thus raising the privacy issues about online therapy. The other disadvantage is that the computer or the network system might break down leading to lack of communication. Finally, it will be difficult for the doctor to view some of the patient’s facial expressions and feelings that can be used in the treatment of the patient (Mulhauser, 2011).

These problems mainly affect the different patients who are being treated through the online counseling or therapy. This is because when the computer or the network system breaks down, the patient might not get the treatment required on time. Additionally, the patient might tend to think that his or her email was sent but due to network failure, it was not sent thus leading to miscommunication. Moreover, the patient might not get the full treatment as required because if the psychiatrist does not view some of these emotions, he or she might not be able to give the full treatment that is required for a patient to heal. Therefore, it can be said that the different patients are the ones who are hurt most. Lastly, the psychiatrist might benefit from this problem if the patient does not get enough treatment since they have already been paid for the services but it only applies to those psychiatrists who do not consider the patients’ welfare.

In the other remaining sources, five of them have also explained the different problems that are associated with online therapy. They have clearly given some disadvantages in the usage of online therapy. Two of the sources have been able to explain the advantages that are related to the usage of online therapy. Additionally, they have indicated how online therapy or counseling has been a great break-through in the treatment of mental illness in the society (Evans, 2009). Moreover, they have indicated that the usage of online therapy or counseling can be used as one of the ways to reduce the rates of mental illness, which is increasing in a daily basis. Lastly, two other sources are indicating the different ways in which the different disadvantages can be solved. These ways can lead to the improvement of online therapy in order to improve the different services that are delivered (Dionne, 2007).

In online therapy, the major problems that occur are because of the computer-aided problems and those that are associated with the face-to-face therapy (Rochlen, Zack and Speyer, 2004). For example, if the computer breaks down, the network breaks down or the information is prone to hackers, the patient will suffer in acquiring the services. In conjunction to this, the problem of the psychiatrists being unable to see some of the expressions is another problem that has affected online therapy since he or she is not going to provide the patient with the required treatment. What surprised me most about the findings was that many people use online therapy and it started as early as 1982. This was because I never thought that people used online therapy and I never thought that the world of counseling had advanced before the year 2000.



Cook, J. E & Carol, D. (2002). Cyber Psychology & Behavior. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Retrieved from

Dionne, M. (2007). Advantages and disadvantages of online counseling. Woodridge. Retrieved from

Evans, J. (2009). Online counseling and guidance skills: a resource for trainees and practitioners. New York, NY: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Flemming, L. E. (2010). Reading Keys. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Griffiths, M. (2005). Cyber Psychology & Behavior. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Retrieved from

Mulhauser, G. (2011). Disadvantages of counseling or therapy by email. Counseling Resource. Retrieved from

Mulhauser, G. (2011). Hints, Tips and Caveats for effective email communication. Counseling Resource. Retrieved from

Rochlen, A. B., Zack, J. S. and Speyer, C. (2004). Online therapy: Review of relevant definitions, debates, and current empirical support. Wiley online library. Retrieved from

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 33(2), Apr 2002, 148-154. doi: 10.1037/0735-7028.33.2.148

Staff Writer, (2011). Online family & marriage Counseling – an introduction. National Directory of Marriage & Family Counseling. Retrieved from


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