Online Therapy Training and Development

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Looking for training and development materials informed by a large volume of actual online clinical practice? Focusing primarily on the online therapeutic process, papers in this section draw on several years of practical online experience.

My Aim for These Materials

Given the primitive state of current online counselling training, my aim in providing the materials listed here is simple: I want to offer papers and other resources that are directly informed by online clinical experience and which will be relevant to mental health professionals who are in actual online practice or who are contemplating adding this modality to their existing practice. My own primary interest is in the online therapeutic process itself, and the training and professional development resources here will reflect that interest.

Characterizing Online Therapy Training Resources

The Wide Range of Online Therapy Training and Professional Development Resources

Whether seasoned practitioner or newcomer to the field, most people recognize that setting up a private practice (online or offline) requires more than just learning the theory and practice of therapy or counselling. Actually running a business requires careful attention to details of marketing and advertising, physical assets (whether that means a face-to-face office, computer equipment, etc.), insurance, supervision, security, and a great deal more. (Our free materials on building your private practice include a list of 20 questions to consider just in the area of marketing!)

When it comes to training and development resources specifically for mental health professionals interested in online practice, many privately operated consultancies have sprung up to cash in on the demand from would-be online counsellors for information about this wide range of ancillary needs — including, for example, basic introductions to how to use encryption tools, or chat clients, or even (in some ‘advanced’ courses) how to market your new practice online.

But what is left out of most of these training and professional development offerings is any kind of sustained and substantive engagement with the core of online counselling and therapy itself: the actual online therapeutic process. As I suggest in a brief comment on the current state of the field (“Current State of Online Therapy and Online Counselling Training”), a large proportion of what is presently for sale can be characterized as ‘armchair online therapy training’.

Try Online Counseling: Get Personally Matched

What Makes Different?

Two main things separate the papers for online therapy training and professional development provided here from much of what is already available:

  1. My work is informed by a significant volume of actual online clinical experience with real live clients; I make my living online.
  2. I’m not charging anyone anything for what is offered here.

With regard to the first point above, I’ve logged just shy of 800,000 words of email-based counselling as of early December 2005. [Note: After this article was originally published, I later became the first online practitioner to have provided over 1 millions words of fully-documented, fully peer-supervised individual online therapy.] Most published authors and trainers in the field won’t say in public how much real online therapy they actually do, although many will gladly tell you how many years they’ve been at it or how many articles they’ve published on the topic; ever wonder why that is?

With regard to the second point above, yes I do provide paid services, including business development consulting and online supervision services (see “Clinical Supervision, Training and Development”), but anything you find on this website is free.

Please note that I do not provide basic training for online counsellors (e.g., how to use your computer, how to use encryption, etc.). But if you already feel comfortable with the basics, and you’d like to focus on more advanced professional development as an online counsellor or online therapist via a consulting or supervision arrangement, please do have a look at our online supervision section.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

Overseen by an international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe, provides peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

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