Brief Therapy via Email
Brief Therapy is a safe and effective way to resolve well-defined issues using email, at a time convenient to the client as well as the therapist.
Who is it for?
People who do not require longer term therapy and have single issues or minor issues. These people feel comfortable reading books, articles, and handouts and feel confident in implementing the suggestions. They want to know what may be most helpful to them and are looking for effective, reliable, research-based resources they can use independently and at their own pace.
Those who are considering counselling therapy and are not sure about the service and have questions on what the service can do for them. These people might want to gain a deeper understanding about the issues they struggle with to obtain clarity on what services might be most helpful to them. These clients might want to continue seeking longer term counselling therapy in the near future.
How long is brief therapy?
Brief therapy varies in length from a single session to about 3 to 5 sessions.
What are relatively “minor” issues?
- Questions about counselling therapy, psychology, effective approaches in treatment and mental health in general
- Questions about mental health and mental health disorders, personality disorders and relevant and reliable self-assessments
- Questions about effective communication and problem solving in couple relationships
- Questions and tools about solving conflict
- Questions related to creating better emotional and physical intimacy
- Information and tools on setting boundaries with family members
- Tools and techniques for mild to moderate anxiety and depression
- Prevention of burnout
How does it work:
- Brief therapy is done via email.
- Payment of email therapy is done up-front. This means that you pay for a one-hour session ($150.00 + GST) when you start your first email. Dr. Scheepers keeps track of the time answering your questions. When the time of 60 minutes has been reached, you will be notified. Dr. Scheepers starts to track time when replying to your questions and responses.
- The email sessions are secure, as encryption on both sides is guaranteed. Dr. Elisabeth Scheepers uses Hushmail for Healthcare and the email address is email@example.com. You will need to log-in to read the email content.
- After payment, you receive a consent form and a brief clinical assessment over secure email.
- Email sessions are a-synchronous which means that e.g. you as a client ask questions, and you receive a reply asap, but not immediately. It could be either the same day or the day after. Replies start with ES: In a different colour or using bold or italics. Encryption on both sides is possible, even if you do not have a Hushmail email address, but the options of colours etc., might be a bit limited. You might want to reply to an answer and have more questions. This is done most effectively when pasted in the body of your email, so you will see the answers right below your questions and find the replies below your responses.
- As brief therapy can be solution focused and psycho-educational, you will be given handouts, links to relevant articles and may be suggested other resources such as books or podcasts. It is a form of therapy that can be highly effective, but it is not for everyone.
- The interaction when it is single-session-email therapy might look a bit the same as writing “Dear Abby”, but in this case, all emails are confidential and will not be published by clients or Scheepers-CCC.
Why offer brief email counselling?
- We noticed that many clients have questions about mental health, and counselling therapy. There is an abundance of (mis-)information on the Internet and many people are confused and feel overwhelmed about the options.
- We noticed that many people feel confident in following up with suggestions provided by email.
- Email counselling is the most flexible of the modalities on offer that is also safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A last reason is that we receive many requests from people looking for counselling in addition to our current clientele, and can no longer commit to taking on new clients who require longer term counselling therapy. Brief therapy enables us to assist more people, and those who are on a waitlist to be seen by another mental health professional can make a start already.