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Definition: cybertherapy

Providing therapeutic counseling for emotional issues via the Web. Also called "Internet therapy," "e-therapy," "online counseling" and "telepsychiatry," true cybertherapy is provided by credentialed mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and social workers.

Cybertherapy is generally not considered a complete substitute for face-to-face sessions; however, it provides immediate assistance where help is not close by or when in-person visits are not possible. The delivery methods are interactive text chat, email, video calling and voice over IP (VoIP). However, if video calling is the medium and a high-quality connection is used at both ends, cybertherapy with a qualified professional can be very effective. For a list of cybertherapy sites, visit www.metanoia.org.