Free online therapy websites make a point of explaining that it is not a substitute for licensed therapy (paid online therapy, however, is frequently run by licensed therapy professionals).
Free online therapy often serves as a "pre-treatment" method whereby a patient can assess the level of treatment they require.
This discussion may either be in the form of a live chat, an email exchange or even video conferencing (if the patient has a webcam).
Through general questions, the free online therapy counselor will determine whether the problem needs to be addressed by an online therapist or a traditional face-to-face therapist (in the case of crisis counseling, the free online therapy counselor will most likely recommend traditional counseling).
Although a free online therapy session imposes no cost on a user that does not mean that the advice it dispenses should not be accurate.
Many free online therapy sites are run by licensed doctors and their general advice should still be based on sound therapy principles.
The Mental Health Helpline is province-wide, mental health information and referral service located in Ontario, Canada.
The Mental Health Foundation in the UK, for instance, recently offered two months of free online therapy to residents of that country.
The old saying "You get what you pay for" is very rarely complimentary but with free online therapy you may actually be getting more.
Free online therapy is a relatively new innovation that takes advantage of the growth of the online community and the convenience of online services.
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We have information about services in Ontario, Canada. If you are in crisis, call 911 or we can give you the local crisis number.