EMAIL & TEXT/MESSAGING THERAPY
This type of counselling and therapy is extremely convenient for people who have a busy life, and those on the go. Clients can email or message anytime and anywhere, giving the clients control and choice over their time and money. As there is no travelling or having to make appointments, convenience is high up on the list of advantages. The therapeutic response is another benefit as email and messaging is similar to a diary in that the ‘sessions’ are written forms of a conversation. Therefore, the client and therapist can refer to them and reflect on them whenever they want, something that cannot be achieved in face-to-face sessions.
Security and Privacy
If we had to build our own face-to-face therapy room we would want it to be safe and secure with thick enough walls and a solid enough door. Similarly, therapists need a safe and secure room for online work. If we want to build a safe & secure online room, we need technical expertise. As this is a virtual meeting place, we have to build our own room using the technical tools to hand. There are ways of making email therapy and messaging therapy safer and more secure, and these are mentioned in the sections below
There are two types of email therapy
They both offer the client and therapist the opportunity to re-read past content and reflect on the process.
- Synchronous email therapy
Synchronous email therapy is a live chat session where therapist and client agree to a time and day, to receive and expect a response from each other. This allows both client and therapist more control over sessions with more time to reflect on their responses.
- Asynchronous email therapy
Asynchronous email therapy is a form of email therapy that functions in delayed time. You choose when you want to send an email and when to reply. This allows both client and therapist more control over sessions and more time to reflect on their responses.
The appeal of email therapy for clients
Email therapy is of particular interest to those clients who find it difficult in one way or another to meet up in person with a therapist.
The appeal of email therapy for therapists
Equally, there is a benefit to the therapist. It is a luxury to have the time to reflect back on clients’ words and often a therapist will read an email two of three times before responding. It means that time is allowed to reflect and consider the client’s words in-depth before sending a reply. It is the words and tone used that form the basis of therapeutic intervention and support, and this can be achieved through email.
Free secure emailing
ProtonMail is GDPR compliant. In terms of privacy and confidentiality, ProtonMail is a FREE end-to-end encrypted emailing system. It is a Swiss based company that many health care professionals use. Protonmail is about as secure as email gets and an ideal way of emailing clients.
ProtonMail can be used on any device with no software to install. ProtonMail accounts are fully compatible with other email providers and you can send and receive emails as normal. It’s easy to use with built-in state of the art security features.
Research on Email Therapy ‘The power of the written word’
The majority of research suggests that email therapy is just as effective as face-to-face. Below is a short video of how effective it is. Source: BBC News.
Text/Messaging therapy like email therapy shows how therapy is adapting to the way people live their lives today. For many people and particularly the younger generation, it is their regular and natural way to communicate. Some clients prefer instant messaging, as the experience is more like a conversation in ‘real time’. It differs from other mediums such as email due to the perceived quasi-synchrony of the communication between therapist and client.
The appeal of text/messaging for clients
Text/Messaging particularly attracts and appeals to young people who find this medium a very natural form of communication. Being able to communicate with a therapist in this way also appeals to busy people. It helps anyone with tight work schedules, and finds it difficult to meet with a therapist once a week. Clients can have a conversation in ‘real time’ by messaging anywhere and anytime. It also gives the client the opportunity to reflect on previous conversations.
The appeal of text/messaging for therapists
Instant messaging allows the luxury of having the opportunity to reflect and consider clients’ words in depth from previous messages. Often a therapist will read earlier conversations prior to the next messaging session. It means that time is allowed to reflect and consider the client’s words in-depth. Once again, it is the words and tone used that form the basis of therapeutic intervention and support, and this can be achieved through messaging.
Free secure messaging
Signal is GDPR compliant. In terms of privacy and confidentiality, Signal is a FREE secure end-to-end messaging system. It was developed by Open Whisper Systems and is about as secure as messaging gets. It’s an ideal way of meeting clients who prefer messaging. It’s easy to install and easy to use with state of the art security features.
What is signal desktop
Signal Desktop is an app that lets you send or receive Signal messages using your laptop or desktop computer. All messaging is private and syncs with Signal on your mobile phone.
You can comfortably chat using your desktop or laptop keyboard. If you start a conversation and then need to move around, just pick up your phone and continue messaging from there.
Does Email Therapy or Messaging Therapy work for everyone?
Clients who choose email or messaging have either requested it or have chosen it after discussing the other options available. Therefore they are often already invested in the process, and for these clients overcoming their problems can be swifter. Indeed, Online Therapy including electronic written communication can be just as effective as face-to-face client work.