Is there legal support if something goes wrong?
Probably not. So choose a therapist carefully.
One of the great things about the Internet is that it dissolves geographical boundaries between people. No matter where you live, you could choose an e-therapist in the U.S., Europe, Australia, or South America. It's wonderful that you can choose an e-therapist that is right for you, without being limited by distance.
But in the unlikely event that problems should arise (and since 1995, none have, to my knowledge), this could be a complication.
E-therapists and counselors come from many different states and nations. There is no international law governing their work, and even in the United States the law differs from state to state. In some cases, if both you and the therapist are physically located in the same U.S. state, state laws may apply to your work together. However, in the unlikely event that something goes drastically wrong, at the present time, you probably have little or no legal recourse against the therapist.
If something goes wrong, the legal system will probably not protect you. Therefore it is very important that you protect yourself. Be certain, before you start, that you are working with a responsible, professional psychotherapist, who is sworn to follow a code of professional ethics and who is accountable to a credentialing body. A therapist who is committed to ethical and legal standards in a traditional face-to-face practice will uphold the same standards in e-therapy.
If you are interested in the possible future direction of laws affecting online psychological work in the U.S., you might like to explore some of the links below. Laws are now being developed in the U.S. that cover medical applications on the Internet. Some of these laws could affect online interactions of patients and psychotherapists. As is usually the case with the Internet, their effect on international interactions is uncertain.
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