The email, one of the earliest forms of internet based communication, is also the earliest form of online counseling. This asynchronous form of online counseling provides for the greatest level of anonymity and convenience for the client. A client can submit their email at their leisure and read their response at their leisure. It imposes no set time frame on the client nor requires the client to travel anywhere. The online therapist, however, must provide their responses in a timely manner. Still, with an email at hand an online Therapist chat can take the time to focus more deeply on their analysis, reflect upon every detail of the email’s contents, and prepare a thorough response addressing aspects of the communication that can sometimes be missed in the present moment during traditional therapy and other forms of online therapy.
Robert Morse, M.A., an online counselor who operates the e-therapy service has taken the traditional email exchange and has created a more evolved version of this treatment model with the Email-Video exchange. The Email-Video exchange is a form of online therapy that has the client submit their pertinent presenting problems via email. Then, Mr. Morse responds to this email in the form of a recorded video which is uploaded to the client’s user account page at for the client to view and download. The Email-Video exchange offers the same benefits for the client in terms of cost and the lack of time constraints, yet improves upon the model in terms of what an online counselor can provide for the client in the form of greater elaboration in discussing what the client has presented in the email.
The video response allows the online counselor to go into greater detail about what the client has written. No longer limited to articulating their thoughts onto the keyboard, an online therapist can discuss individual points within the email to a much greater degree as it takes less time to verbalize ones thoughts than to type them by hand. The video response increases the level of personability for the client. The client gets to see and hear their online counselor and get a greater feel for the online therapist’s approaches. The video response eliminates some of the emotional sterility of exchanging and reading typed words. Also, the online counselor can review, edit, and re-record their video as they deem fit so that they can submit the most optimal response and ensure the highest level of efficiency throughout the exchanges.
The email video-exchange does forfeit, to a certain degree, one of the primary advantages of the traditional email exchange. This is the lack of a typed record on the part of the online therapist. The traditional email exchanges can be reviewed by both parties at any time. There is also less reliance on memory and every part of the therapeutic process is typed for later retrieval. However, the loss of this advantage is not so severe as both client and online counselor can use the recorded video as a reference as well.
As online counseling continues to establish itself as a primary mental health treatment model other online counselors will likely emulate the Email-Video exchange in their own practices. This will allow for potential clients to be able to utilize this service with the online counselor he or she deems most suitable to work with. Discernment is always important when seeking out online counseling services. Mr. Morse provides all new clients with a free initial session using the service of their choice for this very reason.