Email therapy is much like letter writing in that we exchange emails,  and can be used to explore lots of different issues whilst affording you time to think and to take things at your own pace. As a therapist I would seek to understand what is going on for you and in my response perhaps offer you a new perspective. We communicate first to set up the therapy, agree when to start and the first session is when I have responded to the first agreed email. However, because of the time delay nature of email it is not suitable if you are in crisis and need some immediate help. If you are wondering if email therapy is for you please read through the list of considerations and feel free to ask any questions. Please feel assured I will treat you respectfully and honestly making sure as far as possible that I am the best person to meet your current needs.

I am considering Email therapy.
Hopefully reading through the following considerations will allow you to decide if email therapy will suit you and your needs. You will be likely to get the best out of your therapy if you are able to follow these guidelines.
-You will need to be able to write, read and respond to therapeutic emails.
-It is best if you have somewhere private to do this where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
-Making sure you have enough quality time to write what you need to and take in what the therapist is saying is a very good idea as it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.
-Ask yourself if you are you the sort of person who is able to express themselves through writing/emailing and/or who enjoys interacting in this way?
-Think whether you would be able to cope with gaps between communications.
If you are in crisis and in need of some immediate help the time delayed nature of email therapy is not for you at this time. Please follow the link for ‘feeling in crisis’ where there are some suggestions for finding help.

How Email therapy will be likely to work with me.
After you have decided you would like to try email therapy please contact me and we will start to look at what you would like and if I am the best person to offer you help at this time. This will involve filling in a form and providing a few details and whilst this can sometimes appear a bit impersonal it is really to ensure your safety, and to give me an initial idea of what you would like help with. After this we will come to an agreement about what I am offering and some rules about how it will work – just so we both know what to expect. It is important to pay attention to safety when using email and we can either set up a password protected file exchange, or I pay to use the encrypted email service Hushmail which works if you respond to my Hushmail email  (my email address is drcfrancissmith@hushmail.com).  Don’t worry if you are new to these things as I can talk you through it.

Setting things up often doesn’t take very long. I usually work by offering one email exchange a week and agreeing to respond by a certain time and day of the week. I would ask that you give me 48 hours to digest your email prior to expecting a response so I can give it some quality time. Some people feel one email exchange is enough but often several are booked in and I am happy to be guided by what you feel you need. I will be devoting the same time to your email as if we were meeting for a 50 minute session and encourage you to do the same. This may sometimes mean we need to prioritise a main issue and I would probably suggest putting this first when writing. I want to make sure you are the one deciding what is most important.