How Can You Know If Your Online Therapist Is Reputable?
You don’t want to waste your money, but more importantly, you want to make sure you take life advice from someone qualified to give it. It is very important that you verify the identity, qualifications and good standing of any online therapist/counselor prior to entering into a therapeutic relationship.
Five ways to ensure that you are communicating with a reputable online therapist or counselor are:
- Your therapist or counselor should list her office address and phone number on her website. You need to know where she is located so that you can verify her credentials and you may also need to contact her "offline" at some point; and you have a right to do so. Also, professional requirements can vary by jurisdiction and so you have a right to know what rules she operates under
- Your therapist or counselor should clearly list her qualifications and experience
- Your therapist or counselor should list his membership with any certification and agency boards and should provide links to these respective websites. You should be able to follow these links to check on the accreditation and or good standing of your therapist
- According to the American Counseling Association, a reputable online therapist or counselor will not demand a lengthy commitment to services, but will instead allow for a trial period, during which time the client can assess her satisfaction with the services offered
- Your therapist or counselor will follow established ethical guidelines for providing therapy online, such as: in some cases, informing you that you are not a suitable candidate for online therapy; informing you of other online resources or literature that offer free access to helpful information or counseling/support services and informing you of some of the disadvantages of online counseling (informed consent)
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