Online Therapy: A Therapist's Guide to Expanding Your Practice

By Todd, Tracy | Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, April 2006 | Go to article overview

Online Therapy: A Therapist's Guide to Expanding Your Practice


Todd, Tracy, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy


Derrig-Palumbo, K., & Zeine, F. (2005). Online therapy: A therapist's guide to expanding your practice. New York: W. W. Norton, 336 pp., $34.00.

Are you considering some form of online therapy for your practice? What exactly does online therapy mean? E-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, web cameras? Regardless of your foray into electronic-based counseling, Online Therapy: A Therapist's Guide to Expanding Your Practice, is an excellent resource for experienced therapists moving into the 21st-century of psychotherapy.

Organized into three major sections, the book addresses a wide range of issues relevant for clinicians who may be incorporating on-line components in their practice. Part I addresses psychotherapy models (e.g., solution-focused, narrative therapy) most conducive to delivering online therapy services. Interviews with significant representatives of each model offer thoughtful perspectives toward online therapy. For example, Albert Ellis presents his opinions about the possibility of using rational emotive behavioral therapy through an online format. Part I also provides answers to common questions, offers clinical guidelines, and includes a brief discussion about the efficacy of online therapy.

Part II is the backbone of this book, providing a thorough discussion about establishing an online practice. Business, legal, and ethical issues are all addressed in a comprehensive way. Derrig-Palumbo and Zeine guide readers through the maze of considerations of beginning an online practice. Furthermore, they address the various possibilities of web-based counseling: e-mail, audio conferencing, electronic clinics, videoconferencing, and chat rooms. Of vital importance is the excellent discussion of the perils when using free or public domain technology (e.g., Yahoo, AOL) that may not protect client confidentiality. The discussion of legal issues is also excellent, addressing such matters as conducting psychotherapy across state lines, payment for referrals when using referral services, and the required documentation for conducting online therapy services. …

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