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"With the Internet, I don't have to worry about how I look or driving the car," Evans says. Keck any time day or night and have an answer within 24 hours." On the other hand, the most common criticism of online therapy is that the therapist misses nonverbal clues.
A person's body language reveals a lot about mood, Taintor says.
But "it is folly to think anything going into a computer is anonymous," warns Taintor.
"It is all electronically retrievable data." For some people, the nonvisual nature of cybertherapy is what appeals.
That ultimately may be the role of online therapy -- to break down the barriers to getting treatment started.
Cybertherapy, says Taintor, "is not a substitute for in-person therapy.
And the way a patient reacts to a therapist's comments -- perhaps tensing when a sensitive issue is raised -- offers insight into problems. ) Another drawback to cybertherapy is that doctors usually won't prescribe medication online.
She had long suffered from bipolar disorder, but between caring for a daughter with the same illness and running her dog grooming business, she couldn't find time for therapy.
Therapy will be conducted (via email or chat rooms) with remote or extended family members located thousands of miles from each other." Despite these predictions, online therapy remains controversial.
Little research has been done to show its effectiveness or whom it best serves.
"And it was one of the most profound relationships I'd ever had.
Even though he wasn't physically present, he was a huge presence in my life." Ainsworth decided to help others locate reputable online therapists, so she created a consumers guide, "ABCs of Internet Therapy" at her web site,