Research on the effectiveness of online psychotherapy shows that this form of psychological help is effective in many cases, including: depression, anxiety disorders, high levels of anxiety and psychological education (e.g. on quitting smoking). Check Here to know more about online therapies and How it works.
Despite the effectiveness of online therapy, this does not mean that it is suitable for everyone.
Serious mental disorders , including substance addiction (e.g. alcoholism), severe depression (e.g. with prior thoughts and suicide attempts), and schizophrenia, may require more than online treatment can provide: they most often require the intervention of a psychiatrist and psychologist or day ward of a psychiatric hospital.
Professionalism of an online psychologist
Although psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists are required to obtain appropriate qualifications before starting independent practice, there is no generally applicable set of rules for the provision of psychological services via the Internet.
The online psychology services market is growing much faster in the United States, where the American Psychological Association (APA) has established general guidelines for psychotherapists wishing to provide online services.
These guidelines are common sense and should be followed by a mental health professional.
Psychologists providing online services should endeavor to take reasonable steps to ensure their competence in both the therapy or counseling itself and the potential impact of the technology used on clients.
For all new and emerging domains where generally recognized standards do not yet exist, psychologists should strive to develop their competences in this area.
They should also follow the same ethical and professional standards of care and professional practice as are required in the provision of personal psychological services.
A specialist should conduct a preliminary assessment to determine the appropriateness of the online service for a specific customer, before even engaging in virtually providing his services.
Such an assessment should include an examination of the potential risks and benefits of providing services in a virtual form, the forecast of potential problems that may arise, and the selection of the most appropriate medium (e.g. video conferencing, e-mail, etc.) to provide the service.
The psychologist should obtain the client’s informed consent to the services (and their form) they provide. In other words, the patient should be aware from the very beginning that psychotherapy will take place online.
- Confidentiality and data security
- Online psychologists should make every effort to protect and preserve the confidentiality of their customer-related data and information.
If necessary, the psychologist may obtain appropriate consultation with technology experts to increase their knowledge of technology in order to apply security measures in their practices that will protect.
It is a good practice to use security in the form of SSL data transmission and the use of recognized tools for communication with the client (eg Skype).
How to make an appointment with an online psychologist?
It is better to take the time and reliably search for the right specialist once than to make a hasty mistake and return to the starting point or completely discourage from this form of psychological services.
Below, you will find a number of issues to consider when looking for a psychologist with whom you can build a lasting therapeutic relationship and improve your quality of life by receiving specialist support.