A new type of psychotherapy that turns out to be very modern is called online therapy or rather online counselling. Online therapy, which is also known under the name of ‘e-therapy’ (‘e’ for electronic therapy with regard to the Internet), represents a special kind of mental health treatment delivered over the World Wide Web. Other terms for describing this form of therapy are amongst others tele-therapy or cyber-counselling. When thinking of online therapy we are strictly speaking talking about a very new development in the medical field of mental health. When it comes to online psychotherapy it can be said that a therapist provides psychological aid by means of the Internet – for instance in the form of e-mails, general support via newsletters, video conferencing, online chat and messaging programs, newsgroups and forums.
If a therapist or counsellor provides medical support by means of a forum or a general medical website, it turns out to be very important that the respective web page has a high-quality, fully functional and professional web hosting – this in particular because of the fact that the thematic field of medicine and psychotherapy represents a sensitive issue that requires high reliability as well as seriousness. Furthermore it is also very essential that patients do get profound medical advices. Every patient should have the feeling that there is somebody that cares about him or her.
In this context it has also to be mentioned that online therapy or rather psychotherapy over the Internet is not able to replace a profound medical diagnosis. Online therapy can only be considered as a good medical support or advice; fact is, however, that it will never succeed in replacing traditional medical treatments. Strictly speaking online therapy is also a kind of life-coaching – this because of the fact that over the Internet a therapist is only able to give advices and provide a specific guidance to people that do have problems in life, job, family, etc. Online therapy is based on medical support that turns out to be virtual. So online therapists cannot diagnose or successfully treat illnesses over the World Wide Web. This would be only possible if the therapist met his or her patients for a personal meeting and conversation.
All in all it can be said that online therapy has limitations, but makes it possible for people to get a quick and early medical advice or rather support – especially when experiencing problems in different situations.