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That was a little more than I was looking for, but, the truth is, I had toyed with the idea of counseling for over a year but had never made room for it in my schedule or budget.
"Giving therapy online is more gratifying than short-lived Internet frolicking," he told me.
A growing number of people are depending on Web for emotional support, advice and counseling for bargain basement prices, right from their living room, during any of the 24 hours in a day.
And the need is dire, says veteran online counselor David Sommers, Ph. Online counselors are reaching victims of abuse and trauma who are too embarrassed to look someone in the eye as they share their struggles.
Moreover, he adds, online counseling, with its varied pricing, reaches people who can't afford standard therapy fees.
But, for me, the best part was this: I was a freelance writer at the time, and our meetings were conveniently mobile.
"Psychotherapy is based upon both verbal and nonverbal communication," he says.
Cyberspace, elusive by nature, transcends state and international borders, rendering it quite difficult to apply and impose enforceable codes of conduct.
Worse, case law and statutes regarding client/doctor confidentiality regulations differ from one state to another.
Many online practitioners regularly refer dozens of people in crisis to traditional therapists in their area or to The Samaritans ( trained volunteer counselors in England who specialize in handling crises online.
PROBLEMS, PROBLEMS While the professionals behind quality counseling websites state their limitations up front, drawbacks to Web "therapy" abound: There is no systematic guarantee that the self-proclaimed therapist is legitimate or licensed to practice in your state; there are numerous possibilities for compromising privacy; there are endless technological glitches; and there are complicated payment and legal concerns.