Anonymity The absence of face to face contact can also prompt clients to communicate more openly without concerns for bias of race, gender, age, size or physical appearance.
This may lead to an increased level of honesty and therefore higher validity in the case of self disclosure.
Research suggests that writing during times of distress is particularly useful for clients as it is considered to provide a vital avenue for emotional healing.
Traditional counselling relies heavily on the characteristics of both verbal and nonverbal cues as a form of communication and as a way of gaining insight into the thoughts, feelings and behaviours around the clients presenting concerns.
Online therapy does not give an indication of characteristics such as voice tone, facial expression, body language and eye contact.
Online counselling, in which the mode of communication is often through writing via emails or a chat room, allows both the client and the therapist to pay close attention to their communication and reflect on their thoughts and feelings prior to it being expressed.
This may be a particularly suitable way of communication for those clients who experience difficulty expressing themselves in words.