Should Therapists Use Skype for Web-Based Therapy?


Story by Zawn Villines

In the Showtime series Web Therapy, Lisa Kudrow plays a narcissistic therapist who administers questionable therapy over the Internet. Life often imitates art, and web-based therapy is no exception, though the therapists engaged in web therapy—also known as distance therapy—are nothing like Kudrow’s character. They’re qualified professionals who want to help people.

Several large and well-respected websites now offer web-based therapy or provide advertisements for therapists who do. The advent of online therapy raises important ethical issues that online therapists may not be fully ready to address.

Skype Therapy: Risks and Benefits

At first glance, online therapy might seem like little more than another way technology makes life easier and more convenient. After all, a therapist who doesn’t have to maintain a brick-and-mortar office can probably afford to charge less. People concerned about being seen going into and out of a therapist’s office may feel more comfortable with web-based therapy, and the easy accessibility of the service means that people can choose from therapists across the country rather than being limited to a specific geographic location.

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