Net-Therapy.com - Online Counselling For You
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Overview - General Background to our Operation

Credentials:

We think you should know that the team at net-therapy are all trained professionals, and that we are all members of various professional organisations such as the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and Counsellors And Psychotherapists Association of NSW, Inc. (CAPA), both of which regulate the conduct and practice of counselling by means of explicit codes of conduct, ethics and practice. These include specific requirements regarding education and clinical experience. We invite you to visit their web-sites.

The whole practice of counselling is founded upon 3 fundamental norms -
  • to do no harm;
  • to be effective;
  • to respect our client's autonomy and self-determination.

Initial Contact:

We think you should know, too, that our initial contacts with prospective clients are free. We use this initial 'getting-the-feel' period to get to know our prospective clients and to offer them a chance to get to know us. We use this period to discuss how we work and, if we believe our services could be of use to you, how we think you could benefit from E-Therapy. If we feel that we may be only of limited help to you or indeed that it would be more advantageous for you to access alternative help, we will let you know, and we will suggest possible alternatives.

These initial contacts are also an opportunity for you to ask us any questions you have about us, about net-therapy.com, and about E-Therapy. We are happy to assist you with any links to other sites on the net with further information regarding this modern way of delivering and receiving therapy.

Basically though, these first contacts are also a way for you to 'get to know us a little', and to decide if you would like to work with one of us.

Turnaround Time:

Once a formal counselling agreement has been established, you can feel free to contact us at anytime via e-mail. You will receive an instant response to show that we have received you e-mail. We will respond with a personalised response within 24-48 hours.

Confidentiality:

Privacy and confidentiality is a crucial issue with regard to counselling since it embodies profoundly private material. It is vital that you feel safe in being able to express yourself freely and divulge deeply personal information. Net-therapy.com is unique in having addressed this very problem by means of a dedicated private and secure instant messaging system which we use in our on-line sessions. We also store our files by means of either password protection, or indeed proprietary encryption programmes. Feel free to discuss these issues if you have any further concerns.

In terms of your own computer, be aware that the information we exchange will be freely accessible on the computer you use unless you take measures to protect this information. It is wise therefore to think about who has got access to the computer you are using, and to secure private information by using password protection. We do not think it prudent to make use of work computers for therapy interaction.

Benefits of E-Therapy:

In comparing E-Therapy with face-to-face therapy, specific benefits of E-Therapy emerge:
  • You can benefit from E-Therapy in the comfort of your own home, which means that you do not have to take time out of your day to go to an office for your appointment.
  • If you chose to e-mail your therapist you can compose you messages at any time you like.
  • You can take your time about composing your message and taking time to reflect upon your messages.
  • You communicate directly with your therapist, and there is no need to go through a third person, such as a receptionist, to make appointments.
  • You can also avoid 'broken telephones' and frustrating voice mail.
  • You will have the records of all communication for future reference.
  • You may feel less inhibited and nervous than you would in a face-to-face situation.

Difficulties with E-Therapy:

Since E-Therapy involves technological versus face-to-face communication, there are certain inherent risks which may include:
  • E-mails may not be received. On our side, we generate an automated response when we receive e-mails.
  • There is the danger of viruses - these are a part of conducting affairs on the net. We have, of course, taken precautions by using virus protection software. We suggest you do likewise.
  • Confidentiality may possibly be a problem if someone has the skills and motivation to hack into our means of communication. We have taken precautions against that by utilising a proprietary encrypted instant messaging system that is among the most secure software we could find.
  • E-mails may be sent to the incorrect address.
  • E-Therapy is different from face-to-face counselling, and embodies difficulties of its own. Written language has inherent limitations, such as misunderstandings of written material due to absence of vocal intonation and non-verbal cues. In counselling it is important to facilitate open, honest and clear communication and awareness of this difficulty helps to minimise this aspect of E-Therapy.

For a more detailed discussion of these elements, please refer to the International Society of Mental Health Online.

IF YOU ARE SUICIDAL, YOU MUST SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY! You should call your National Emergency help-line or get yourself to an Emergency Room for an evaluation.
 
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