Online therapy (also known as eTherapy) is an online treatment for psychological issues.
There are different types of online therapy. You could talk to your doctor about whether they are suitable for you and the help you'd like to get.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy is psychological support, information, therapy and other help that is provided online or on your mobile device.
There are many different types of online therapy. Some are as simple as screening tools and checklists to help you decide if you want to seek help for a psychological issue. Some offer web seminars. Others have structured online programs. Some programs offer an online counsellor to talk to, while others don't.
Online therapy has been found to help some people with mental health problems, including:
- postnatal depression
- panic disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Benefits and disadvantages of online therapy
Some people find online therapy useful because you can go online when it suits you - after work or late at night, when children are asleep, and at weekends.
It can also help people who can't easily get to regular treatment sessions because of time or distance. Some people find it less confronting than speaking directly to a counsellor or psychologist.
If your online therapy includes a structured program, being online means you can work through the tasks when you're ready.
However, online therapy isn't for everyone. It might not suit you if you're not comfortable with technology. And it might not suit you if you're in crisis.
Cost and other considerations
Some online therapy programs and services are free on publicly available websites. Other treatment may be available if you pay a fee. There are also the costs of the technology and data to think about.
You should consider privacy issues and whether an online therapist has appropriate qualifications before agreeing to treatment.
Last reviewed: December 2015