Online counseling or e-therapy is available in many different forms and formats. The most commonly conducted form of e-therapy today remains secure e-mail based interventions. These interventions usually occur in a special email system -- either a third-party independent email system or a specially designed system provided by an online clinic -- that encryptes and secures your emails between you and the online therapist.
These transactions can range in price anywhere from $25.00 to $125.00 per email exchange (1 email from the client and 1 response from the therapist). This fee covers the therapist's time, as well as any costs associated with the transaction for ensuring it is a secure exchange.
The other popular type of online counseling intervention is conducted either through webcams (video conferencing), text chat, or telephone. These can either be time-limited (30 or 60 minutes is common) or unlimited (priced per minute). Make sure you're aware of the manner in which your online therapists charges for these real-time sessions, as you don't want to be stuck with an unexpectedly large bill because of a misunderstanding.
Based upon a survey of current online therapists offering such services, most therapists charge anywhere from $1.75 to $4.99 per minute, or from approximately $100 to $250 per hour.
For more information about e-therapy, I suggest reading the other essays in the Best Practices in e-Therapy series.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Aug 2011
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