A beautifully coloured circuit diagram symbolizing the internet technology used for counselling via instant messaging

Why we chose chat

(These are not the real names of real people.)

Nadia: I didn’t have time for counselling. I have a very busy job, and then I go home to my husband and kids and old-school mother-in-law. But I do have an office, and once a week on my lunch hour I shut my door and do an instant messaging session with my psychotherapist. We started with prioritizing and delegating at work. We’ve now moved on to home, and I’m starting to get control of my life for the first time in years.

Jean-Pierre: I adore my wife, but she can drive me crazy. We briefly tried marriage counselling; she’d ask me questions and when I answered she’d blow up, and if I didn’t answer she’d blow up. Plus we had to deal with getting babysitters and go out at night when we were tired. Well, I heard about a relationship counsellor who works by chat. She really seems to understand my wife, and when I tell her about a spat we had she suggests how I could handle it differently. Chat is perfect, because no-one can overhear me, and also I can show her my wife’s texts.

Don: I’d tried face to face psychotherapy before, but I kept trying to figure out what I was supposed to be feeling and thinking, trying to read the counsellor’s mind, really. When I tried working with an online therapist by chat it felt much more comfortable, like she was a resource but not in my face, and I was able to focus on what I wanted and think about how to get it. As a result, my life is going a whole lot better.