When writing confidential and private information via email, your therapist will provide a secure email address or platform to send messages to. This is a measure taken especially when emailing from shared devices and password protected to prevent any accidental or intentional access from others.
With the information being provided via text, it would be beneficial to send up to 500 words at a time to your therapist so things can be processed and reflected back in a way that is useful. If an email under 500 words doesn’t feel enough to reflect what’s going on for you at the time, perhaps using a journal alongside therapy will help to process internally first before sharing the significant parts where you feel stuck and would benefit from a therapists perspective and insight maybe helpful.
An advantage of email counselling is the disinhibition effect, of feeling able to share information without concern of how the therapist may respond. It also provides a space to process like a journal in seeing what comes up and on re-reading the process, editing parts that don’t feel as significant as they may have when once held in mind.
A disadvantage of email counselling is that you may not get the immediate response required when seeking assurance or in a moment of crisis. This is when a 24/7 text messaging or email services such as SHOUT or Samaritans may be the best option to meet the needs required at that time.
Booking in an initial consultation over the phone or via video provides an opportunity to see how it feels talking with a potential therapist and assessing your comfort levels first before agreeing to initiate email counselling. Things may change, and that’s OK. If at any point you would want to try face-to-face therapy, you can always check in with the therapist if they would be flexible to do so or can refer you to a counselling service that matches your needs.
Amanda Salvara MBACP
Accredited Counsellor, Psychotherapist and NLP Coach
+4420 8106 0776