Also known as e-therapy, e-counseling, tele-therapy or cyber-counseling, is a relatively new development in mental health in which a therapist or counselor provides psychological advice and support over the Internet. This can occur through e-mail, video conferencing, online chat, or Internet phone. Online therapy can occur in real-time, such as in phone conversations and online chatrooms, or in a time-delayed format, such as through e-mail messages.
Some clients use online counseling in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy, or nutritional counseling, and a growing number of clients are using online counseling as a replacement for office visits.
Online counseling has also been shown to be effective for clients who may have difficulty reaching appointments during normal business hours. The number of missed appointments is much less than with in-person therapy.