Online Sex Therapy
Online therapy, including for Christian counseling, is a growing trend in mental health.
As high-speed internet and computer literacy increase so does our comfort as a society with receiving services through the convenience of our technology.
So it’s not surprising that online sex therapy is coming of age as well. It used to be that tracking down a sex therapist was a real challenge. Especially if you were looking for Christian certified sex therapist.
It is not uncommon for clients to travel hours, sometimes across state lines, in order to find help.
Technology is helping to increase access to helping professionals by allowing clients to come to the clinician electronically – from anywhere in the world.
How effective is online therapy?
Online counseling has been the focus of many research projects over the past decade. While more research is needed, the outcomes of studies to date is positive in showing that online counseling can have a similar impact and can replicate the facilitative conditions of face-to-face therapy (Richards, D., & Vigano, N., 2013).
In fact one study, a meta-analysis of 64 published studies on the effectiveness of internet-based interventions, found strong support for the adoption of online psychological interventions as legitimate therapeutic activities (Hen, L & Boniel-Nissim, Meyran , 2008).
The research, as well as clinician personal experience, has won over many pioneers in mental health. In a 2016 interview Dr. Irvin D. Yalom, well known and respected researcher and educator in the field of therapy, shared his experience (see video below or here on YouTube).
Is online counseling confidential and secure?
Confidentiality, protecting the privacy of clients, is of paramount importance when it comes to therapy. So an important question when approaching any counseling modality is – Can the client’s confidentiality be protected?
No counseling setting, even a private room with a sound machine, can ensure 100% confidentiality steps. However, steps can and should be taken to uphold high standards in confidentiality.
When considering online counseling it’s important to ask questions about the nature of security used. You want a service that utilizes a HIPPA compliant tele-health video software, like the tele-medicine version of Zoom.
Softwares like these usually have native applications for Apple, Android, Mac, and windows. More importantly they employ end-to-end encryption with TLS 1.2 , Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) 256-bit algorithm for maximum security.
Using secure technologies, along with a private room to do your session from, can help ensure a high level of confidentiality, on par with in-person therapy.
What are the advantages of online therapy?
Increased Access – For many, there simply are not clinicians accessible with-in a reasonable distance of their home. This would include individuals in rural settings, as well as those who travel for business, or are living abroad on military deployment or as expatriates.
Continuity of Care – Some hesitate to engage therapy services because they are unsure where they are going to be living over the next few months. The prospect of starting therapy only to have to restart with someone new a few weeks later is a bit daunting. Likewise, college students often are in different geographic areas across the school term and breaks. Being able to continue their counseling without interruption can be a huge help.
Disabilities / Physical Limitations – Sometimes diagnosis like agoraphobia or social anxiety can make it very difficult for individuals to leave their home to receive treatment. Physical disabilities and limitations can also pose a significant obstacle. When you can travel to the therapist electronically, these barriers are removed.
Convenience – Schedule conflicts, traffic, and exhaustion can be their own barriers. Connecting with a clinician from the convenience of your home, office, or even your car can make fitting therapy sessions in possible when life otherwise might not allow.
Access to Specialists – Even in urban areas access to specialist, like sex therapists, can prove difficult. Often there can be waiting list up to months. When only a handful of clinicians are serving populations in the millions, getting into on in a reasonable amount of time can be a real challenge.
Is online sex therapy right for you?
Online sex therapy might not be right for you, but it’s definitely worth looking into. Many people are finding the convenience enables them to get the help they were looking for, leaving them wishing they had started sooner!
About the Author
Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a licensed professional counselor and certified sex therapist with over 10,000 hours of experience. Josh specializes in online marriage counseling and online sex therapy. He founded MyCounselor.Online to increase access to excellent Christian counseling around the world.