Online Therapy

The OCD Clinic offers both telephone and online CBT therapy with our experienced clinicians.

What is it?

Online therapy, also known as ‘e-therapy’ refers to the provision of a counselling service via the internet. It can, but does not necessarily, include the administration of questionnaires, provision of information, collection of demographic or personal information and either real-time or delayed interaction. The communication between client and therapist can be through a variety of internet based modes that include e-mail, synchronised (that is, real-time) ‘chat’, video conference and/or phone services.

What type of e-therapy do you provide?

We provide Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) which is the gold standard for treating OCD.  E-therapy has increased over the years because of difficulties with accessibility and the advent of the Internet. It is a new and emerging area but the evidence suggests it is an effective treatment for OCD.  Our telephone and online CBT therapy programs for OCD use the same treatment protocol as our traditional face to face sessions. Clients participating in our telephone or online therapy programs receive a full clinical assessment, and meet for weekly or fortnightly scheduled telephone and/or online therapy sessions with our clinicians. Clients always have the option of coming to our office for treatment if they decide that they would prefer face-to-face therapy.
What types of clients do online therapy?

  • Client who has difficulties with accessibility
  • Clients who are unable to find specialized care near their home.
  • Existing clients with busy schedules.
  • Pregnant women or new moms who find it very difficult to regularly attend therapy

Limitations*

  • In addition to the regular limits of confidentiality with traditional therapy, there may be other limitations with e-therapy and the level of security of the technology. Refer to www.skype.com for a discussion on safety measures.
  • Misunderstandings may arise due to a lack of non-verbal cues and, with the exception of telephone counselling, tone of voice; email and SMS messages may not be received within the time frame expected by the client.
  • The need for a particular level of computer specification
  • Legality of online or telephone therapy
  • All telephone and online therapy clients receive and sign an “e-consent form” prior to treatment. All online therapy must be based in the state where your psychologist resides and as such is governed by the laws of that state.

Research

 

  • Andersson E, Ljótsson B, Hedman E, et al. (2011). Internet-based cognitive behaviour therapy for obsessive compulsive disorder: a pilot study. BMC Psychiatry. pp; 11:125.
  • Storch EA, Caporino NE, Morgan JR, Lewin AB, Rojas A, Brauer L, Larson MJ, Murphy TK. (2011). Preliminary investigation of web-camera delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Psychiatry Res. Oct 30;189(3):407-12.

*Online therapy is not suitable for individuals who are actively suicidal or engage in self harming behaviours. Likewise clients that have a psychotic or manic illness and/or having been hospitalised in the last month are not suited for online therapy.

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