Online Therapy: eCounseling Basics

Northshore Counseling and Wellness offers online chat and email counseling sessions (known as eCounseling). eCounseling offers a special and very needed type of therapeutic interaction that works in a different way than traditional psychotherapy. Schedules and circumstances sometimes make an office visit difficult. Let our experienced therapists help you, quickly, discreetly and at your convenience.

eCounseling versus traditional psychotherapy

Both traditional therapy and eCounseling have  unique benefits. Here is how they compare:


Therapeutic ElementeCounselingTraditional Psychotherapy
Insurance CoverageInsurance does not currently cover charges related to eCounseling. However, we offer very reasonable rates and discount packages to make this service a worthwhile investment.Insurance will cover traditional therapy costs if it is provided for in the insurance plan. There are some limitations by insurance companies about how much they will pay for a session, as well as how many and what types of sessions they allow.
ConfidentialityThere is increased confidentiality due to not filing insurance claims. However, there are some confidentiality concerns related to internet security, the possibility of “tapping” or “hacking”, and the security of your computer system.Given the realities of insurance companies requiring personal information and diagnoses about clients in order to pay a claim for therapy services, this type of therapy decreases the privacy of your personal information. However, it avoids issues related to sharing information over a phone line or the internet.
Information DensityThere are limitations associated with not using face-to-face contact (i.e., the ability to see someone’s expression or body language). We will do our best to overcome any such limitations if they arise by clarifying your experience. And, we will guarantee that we will give you our most focused and attentive counseling possible. Additionally, there since you feel more “removed” from the therapist, you might feel more comfortable and safe during the session.Because of the face-to-face setting for this traditional therapy, there is more information immediately available to the therapist. However, some people avoid this traditional therapy because of the inability to the therapist’s office, physical disabilities, psychological issues, or the social stigma associated with going to the therapist’s office.
Treatment vs. EducationeCounseling focuses on supportive counseling, problem-solving, and education.Traditional therapy has a broad range of therapeutic intervention and depth-oriented approaches that are more suited to a face-to-face setting.
Meeting TimesThere is a great deal of flexibility about the “meeting times” for eCounseling. You can work with your therapist from any computer, no matter where you are. We can work with you during “after-hours” times, including nights and weekends.There is a pre-set time and location for traditional psychotherapy.
Legal and Ethical GuidelinesSince eCounseling is a “new” and “cutting-edge” service, it is still in the process of developing commonly accepted rules and guidelines. However, our staff believe in upholding the most rigorous ethical standards in all of our work.There are very well established rules and guidelines for traditional therapy, as it has been around for a long time.