HPCSA Number:       PS 0119733
Practice Number:     0524980

Online therapy (or teletherapy) refers to mental health care services and counselling that are provided via the internet or phone rather than in person. This service allows for individuals to connect with the therapist of their choice at times when circumstances do not allow for face-to-face consultations.

How does online therapy work?

Online therapy is usually conducted over a video call which allows for the expression of both verbal and non-verbal communication (such as eye contact, facial expressions and body language) between the client and therapist. I make use of platforms such as Zoom, Skype and WhatsApp Video Call for this purpose. Sessions are typically scheduled for an hour once a week, as with traditional face-to-face consultations.

Who might benefit from online therapy?

  People who wish to reduce their risk of contracting contagious illnesses (such as the Coronavirus)
  People with very busy time schedules
  People who need to travel regularly
  People who may have difficulty reaching appointments during normal business hours
  Rural residents and people in remote areas who do not have access to counselling services
  People unable to leave their home can also easily access such services with little inconvenience
  People who enjoy using electronic media and all the advantages it offers (such as convenience, accessibility and confidentiality)
  Disabled persons


Online therapy is a convenient alternative to traditional in-person therapy and has been shown to be effective in helping with many difficulties, however online therapy has limitations. There is a lack of “personal” or in-person interaction which can make therapy less of a relational experience. Online therapy is not a crisis-based clinical service and may not be appropriate for clients who are seriously depressed, have serious substance dependence, who are experiencing acute mental health problems such as manic or psychotic symptoms, or who are experiencing intense suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

It is the client’s responsibility to inform their therapist if they are at risk of harm to self or others. Seeing a mental health professional in-person is recommended in these situations. Like most forms of psychotherapy, online therapy can make you feel worse before you start feeling better and the changes you experience may create conflict in your close relationships.

Technological Requirements and Competences:

To engage in online therapy, you will require a device that can connect to the internet and be able to install and use Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp Video Call applications for communication. Therapists are required to use secure platforms for therapy that are HIPPA compliant. A reliable high-speed internet connection (minimum 4Mbps for video) is also required. Please be aware that online therapy may utilize significant amounts of data, especially if video (300-800MB/hour) is used.
©Copyright 2021 Christine Slabbert
HPCSA Number:       PS 0119733
Practice Number:     0524980
©Copyright 2021 Christine Darney