Email Therapy FAQs

What is email based therapy?

Email based therapy is an alternative to other treatment options such as face-to-face and videoconferencing and is less intensive. You will touch base with a clinical psychologist once or twice (or in some cases more or less) per week to update on your progress and discuss strategies and information that will help you manage your symptoms.

What is the evidence for email based therapy?

The evidence for email based therapy is limited. Generally speaking it should not be employed for people with severe mental health issues and low levels of motivation. If you are highly motivated and would like this form of therapy then you may wish to consider it. We use cognitive-behavioural therapy techniques as the basis for our email therapy, and this is evidence based. In fact, cognitive-behaivoural therapy is the most widely supported and recommended psychological treatment for acute and chronic mental health conditions. See below for some additional information on the evidence base for email therapy. If you want to do your own research visit Google Scholar and search "email" "therapy" "depression" "anxiety" "telepsychology" or a variety of similar terms. We are happy to help you do a literature review. If you are in doubt about whether email therapy could work for you we always recommend you speak with your GP and/or psychiatrist.

Who is email therapy for?

- Motivated individuals - Individuals who don't want to speak to someone face-to-face or in videoconference (for whatever reason) - Individuals who cannot leave the house - Individuals with good computer literacy

Who is email therapy not for?

- Suicidal individuals - People with poor technological skills - Unmotivated individuals (i.e. people who are not presently able to motivate themselves) - Generally speaking, individuals with moderate to severe mental health problems

How does email therapy work?

It is simple. We will arrange a time to phone you for the initial assessment. Then you and your therapist will correspond via email at a pre-arranged frequency (e.g., once per week on a Saturday from therapist and return email on Sunday night from you). You will be provided with handouts and information to help you manage your symptoms. You will be required to put into practice the strategies recommended by your therapist and report back on your progress.

Who provides email based therapy at Couch in the Cloud?

In keeping with Couch in the Cloud's commitment to professional excellence, all of our clinicians are trained Clinical Psychologists. This means they are specialist mental health professionals accredited to practice clinical psychology by the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (Australia's peak body overseeing health carer registration). A clinical psychologist undertakes more psychology training than most mental health professionals. Specifically, each of our clinical psychologist have undertaken 4 years of basic psychology training including an honours research year; in addition to a further 2 years of postgraduate training in clinical psychology practice that is followed by a further 2 years of supervision by an experienced Clinical Psychologist. Following this, most of our clinicians complete PhD research in the field of clinical psychology (a further 3 years of training). Many of our clinicians have published research in the field of adult and child mental health. In total, our clinicians will have completed approximately 8-11 years of training.

Can I find out about my clinician before I get started?

Sure, no problem. We can send you information about each of our clinicians. You can confirm their credentials on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency website.

Is my GP involved in this process?

We certainly always encourage collaboration and involvement with GPs. Therefore, in most but not all instances we require contact and collaboration with your General Practitioner (GP). Your GP may be managing your Mental Health Care Plan or your medication or both and therefore it is important that your clinician speaks with them regularly to update on your situation.

How do I book sessions?

Your initial session will involve a phone interview and after that therapy will continue via email. You do not need to book sessions, you negotiate the frequency of contact with your therapist based on your needs and they will email you at a pre-arranged time each week or month etc.

Do you charge for an initial chat?

No. After you contact us we will email or phone you so you can find out more about our service and whether it would be a good fit for you.

What does it cost?

Each email "session" involves an email from you and then a return email from your therapist. Each email session will cost $30.

How frequently should I arrange email sessions?

You may discuss your needs with your therapist but we typically recommend contact once per week.