The Best Practices in e-Therapy series of articles was begun in 1999 to try and help define some term and concepts that were being used without definition about the marketing, use, and practice of online psychotherapy, online therapy, and e-therapy.

It now serves as largely an introductory set of essays to the field of online counseling and is recommended reading for anyone interesting in getting into the field of online therapy

e-Therapy” is a term I began using in 1997 to describe using an Internet-mediated technology to foster a helping relationship online.

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 2011 survey of online therapists offering such services, therapists at the time were charging anywhere from $1.75 to $4.99 per minute, or from approximately $100 to $250 per hour.

Keep in mind, online therapy isn’t simply doing psychotherapy online. It’s a different medium, requiring a new set of skills that a professional must learn and master before seeing clients online.

If you’re looking for an online therapist, I recommend you check out therapist search.