3 Things to consider before the “best online cbt therapy”Find a Therapist Online
This article covers:
- Is it right for me?
- Accredited by a recognised body (babcp and bacp in UK)
- Video/phone call over the internet security (end to end encryption) vs Phone and messaging (SMS) medium
You can listen to this Article through my Podcast:
1.- Is It right for me?
Before you begin searchnig online for “The Best online cbt therapy” or “The Best online cbt therapist”.
Asking yourself “is online therapy the right choice me”, is the very first thing to explore, out of the 3 things to consider before Online CBT Therapy, you may need to be asking yourself. We are not all the same, and that goes from humans seeking help and humans providing help.
Before considering online therapy, you may need to consider if your internet or devices are reliable. Also, if you are willing to pay for a session that you may not join if you are having connection problems.
I give alternatives to communication. So, if we agree for a video conference and my internet or your go down, we have a back up plan. This may be texting, phone, doing the remaining session another day or ending emails, if possible.
Another area to consider is whether you have a private space or not. Somewhere, you feel safe to speak about your difficulties. Somewhere private. Or alternative, a time of the week when you can be by yourself.
Some people, that choses to have text therapy, may do this while commuting or during their lunch break. I, professionally, would recommend for you to allocate an part of your day to engage in therapy. A time when you are not disturbed, interrupted or distracted. It is important to be focussed on what you do, and what it is being discussed. This is not just from a psychological and psychoeducational point of view, but also from a financial perspective. In my opinion, if one is paying for something, one may want to get the most out of it.
In my practice, if I believe a client may not be fully engaging in the therapeutic process, I would discontinue treatment, as it is not fair nor ethical to provide treatment if it not been adhered to.
To sum up, think before you try. And if unsure, do not hesitate to contact me for a free 15 minutes consultation, by sending me an email here.
2.- Accredited practitioners
I am accredited by the BABCP. However, there are other accreditation bodies, such as the BACP. Read more about me, Jaime G. Miralles Online CBT and EMDR Therapist, on my about page.
It is important to find someone who is accredited. This assures you that they follow the code of practice and conduct of the organisation.
You may be asking; does it mean accredited to be a better therapist? Well…not really. But what an accreditation by a recognised body gives you is the peace of mind that the person you are seeing has met minimum training, supervision, patient contact and meets other requirements.
I am accredited by the BABCP and I am registered Mental Health Nurse by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This means I have undergone training and education that meets the high standards of practice set by these organisations.
Like with everything, it is completely up to the individual to chose what and with who they want to work. There is no right or wrong. However, it is always important to ask yourself, “If I were to look for a cardiologist, would I like him to be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC)?” if the answer is yes, then you may want to check that the therapist you are contacting is registered with a professional body. That could be the BABCP or the BACP. There are other professional bodies such as Clinical Psychologists, who are registered with the HCPC
3.- Video/phone call over the internet security (end to end encryption (E2E)) vs Phone and messaging (SMS) medium
This is the last of the 3 Things to consider before Online CBT therapy.
What is end to end encrypted?
In simple terms, it means that what your device receives and sends to and from another device is encrypted, and can only be read by the sender and the recipient. For further information you can check Wikipedia here.
However, it appears to be a move from governments to have access to E2E encryption, as reported here. And there may be many reasons for this.
Will be my communication private if I do remote CBT?
The quick answer is depends. We all have heard of some platforms, like Zoom, being hacked or information leaked.
At the time of writing this entry the following articles were relevant and updated.
Google Due is E2E encrypted, as it states on its site.
Google Hangouts/Hangouts Meet have been criticized by some security concerns, and AVG virus software has names it as the “App to avoid”.
Microsoft team is encrypted but not E2E. I have tried to make sense of it but you may want to read more about it here.
Whatsapp is end to end encrypted. However, since it was bought by Facebook, there have been some concerns about its privacy. As some metadata has been shared with Facebook for advertisement.
Wickr Me is one of the most secure apps out there. It features an option that will notify you when someone has taken a screen shot of your message.
However, the best app or windows software you could use is Signal. This has been endorsed for its security by the European Commission and the US congress. This would be the best free option available.
Sometimes, I have been asked “are emails encrypted?”. The answer is easy, NO!. I am moving towards using ProtonMail, and I send files through online services such WeTransfer, that is E2E encrypted. However, I use Gmail for sending and receiving non-private and non-confidential information.
I am able to use most of them. I am flexible with what to use, but I personally will always recommend to use the most secured ones. It would be ultimately up to you to decide, which platform you would like to use.
If you are contacting psychotherapist online, it would be best to check what platform they use and how flexible they are. As feeling safe is an important part of psychological treatment.
Having said this, traditional phone calling and SMS are not encrypted at all. Sometimes, if you are having WIFI or mobile data issues, “traditional” calls and texts may be the only option for you to be contacted. This is why I always use these as a backup alternative, as neither you or I can predict if internet will go down.
Realistically, there are millions of phone calls and texts send worldwide daily. It would be very unlikely that all of them are hacked or eavesdropped. But this is a possibility you need to consider, as ending a session and not being able to be contacted by you therapist may be distressing.
To Sum Up
These are some of the things to consider prior to searching for the “best online cbt therapy” or deciding to find a therapist online, and begin your journey.
In regards encryption and security. Phone counselling has been around for many years, and there has not been a scandal of the scale of some video conferencing providers. So, if you are concerned about using your phone for therapy, you need to consider this. If you are looking to do video-based CBT, it is highly advised that you use E2E software. I would not like a video of myself being accessed by others.
If you decide online CBT therapy is for you, and you want to contact me, click here.