Have you ever put a search for an online therapist on to Google?

Posted on: 17th June 2018

Have you ever put a search for an online therapist on to Google? The results can be quite surprising. You will find thousands of sites offering counselling and also individual therapists offering online therapy, however many therapists have had little or no additional post graduate training to equip them to work online. Working online means working via video/chat/ instant messaging/email and telephone. As a potential client how do you know who is trained and competent? Here are some tips:

  • First you need to ask an organisation if their listed counsellor/s have had training to work online.
  • If it’s a therapy website advertising several therapists, do they check their therapists’ training qualifications, DBS status, referees, insurance details to cover online working, professional body membership and if they have regular supervision? Some organisations have very high standards of internal governance for therapists such as Anxiety UK and Dr Julian who perform these checks on their therapists annually.
  • Does the therapist use a secure platform (not WhatsApp, Skype or Facetime which are not secure)
  • Do the therapist/s have a list of qualifications which can be independently verified? Perhaps by a register such as BACP which you can check online.
  • Does the therapist follow a Code of Practice (such as BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions 2018) which covers competence in online working?
  • Is the therapist insured to specifically work online in your location? Most UK insurers will not insure online therapists to work in the USA or Canada.
  • Does the therapist have regular online supervision bu a qualified online supervisor?
  • Are they registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner) to keep sensitive data and is this kept securely?
  • You can check if your therapist is a member of ACTO (The Association of Counsellors and Therapists Online) on the ACTO website. All therapists listed on this site have to have completed a recognised course in online therapy in order to be listed on this website.

If you follow this advice you should be able to find an appropriately qualified therapist who has the right training in online therapy to meet your needs. If you would like any more information on how online therapy works, then please contact me by email sheelaghward@protonmail.com or text on 07891593571.