I Love These Emails, Or Do I?
The Use of Emails in Psychotherapy and Counseling
By Zur Institute
For a complete list of all Clinical Updates, click here.
We offer four courses related to this topic:
Telehealth: The New Standard (13CE)
Confidentiality in Psychotherapy & Counseling (6CE)
HIPAA Made Friendly (8CE)
Record Keeping in Psychotherapy & Counseling
I checked my emails the other day and saw that a client wanted to change his appointment for the following week. I swiftly responded affirmatively. Next I shot an email to a client asking her whether she could change her appointment next Monday from 10 AM to noon. Within seconds she responded with a one-word response, "Yes."
Don't you like these emails? I do! They are simple, quick and effective.
Long gone are the days when we played phone tag with clients. With email, we needn't start the phone conversation with "How are you?", opening ourselves to a long-winded response. We also avoid the time-wasters of getting busy phone lines, being put on hold, and dealing with overworked, low-paid, and sometimes irritated receptionists or operators. As therapists, many of us love the flexibility gained by receiving and sending emails from our computers, Blackberrys, or iPhones. With email, we can communicate during working and non-working hours, from the office, living room, beach, boat, or even from another country: in short, from whenever or wherever. Emails have saved us therapists time and energy so we can focus on what is important.
Then I woke up the other day to a short email from a depressed client: "Doc, I cannot take it any longer!!!!!" I noticed it was sent at 2 AM. Now what am I to do? Send an email, call the patient back, call her listed emergency contact (not a good idea, as her contact happens to be her toxic friend), call the local crisis team or 911, or what? To read more, click "I Love these Emails, or Do I?".