No, not in the great majority of situations. I've noticed that DBT therapists may occasionally provide texting as a means to reach them. However, the parameters for using this form of engagement should be obvious, and it should be something that the therapist does on a regular basis for all patients. Texting is useful in certain limited circumstances, but it's not a tool that can replace face-to-face contact.
Some therapists contact with their clients through SMS, while others do not. I encourage my clients to text me between sessions, especially if they have a scheduling difficulty, a query, etc. If a therapist isn't comfortable communicating by text, they should let you know. Being able to communicate well with your client is key to providing effective therapy.
Texting is easy and convenient. You can send messages at any time, even when you aren't sitting in front of your computer. This means that you don't have to wait until you get home from work or school to talk with your therapist. As long as you have your phone with you, you can message them anytime, anywhere!
SMS allows you to be flexible with your schedule, which is important if you are struggling with anxiety or depression. If you feel like talking tomorrow instead of Monday, there's no problem with that. Or if you want to ask a question after hours has passed, you can do that too!
Many people worry about privacy issues with texting. But the truth is that most clients will only text you back if they want to talk. If they don't want to talk, they won't text you. And even if they do text you, most messages are short, so you don't have to worry about them reading your mind!
Is it okay if I text my therapist in between sessions? Clients should explore texting with their therapist to determine whether (and when) it is appropriate. If a client is experiencing a serious emergency, they should dial 911 immediately.
It's important for clients to have access to their therapists via other means besides face-to-face therapy. Texting allows clients to communicate sensitive issues more easily than if they were sitting across from one another. As well, therapists report that they enjoy receiving texts from their clients because it lets them know what's going on in their lives outside of sessions.
Texting is an effective way to stay connected with your therapist after the session has ended. It can also be useful for clients to send messages to their therapist if they are having problems with drug or alcohol addiction. Some providers may have additional training about working with clients who struggle with addiction; if you do not find this topic included in your provider's manual, ask questions until you understand how they plan to help you.
It's best to start off by sending a short message. You can talk about what's going on for you in your life at the moment or mention something that happened during your last session. After you've gotten to know each other through texts, you can extend the invitation to meet up outside of the office.
Some therapists are amenable to receiving messages or phone calls from their clients outside of sessions, especially if the client is feeling overwhelmed or depressed.
My private practice customers are aware that I have a family and will not contact me outside of sessions unless they have an urgent need or there is a logistical difficulty. I feel the same way about therapists phoning clients on their personal cell phones. It is OK as long as adequate boundaries are set.
Therapists who work in group practices or clinics may be able to call patients outside of office hours if this service is offered by the company and all parties agree. However, it is best to check with your supervisor or other clinicians before calling someone at an outside number. They may have different guidelines or policies about phone calls they don't know about.
In addition, there are laws regarding confidentiality that may apply even after session has ended. For example, if you give out information about your patients' cases that could lead to them being harmed, then you could be sued for negligence. Before you call someone at an outside number, make sure you know what the policy is regarding these matters.
I knew it was game over when my therapist emailed me an emoji. So I signed up for text therapy, which allows you to contact a counselor over the phone while answering emails and eating lunch at your work. Now we text each other jokes and tell each other what we're eating.
Text counseling works because it removes barriers to treatment. You can talk at any time of day or night, even if you are not sitting in front of your computer. And you don't have to worry about being polite when speaking with a stranger- you can be as blunt as necessary! Text counseling also provides anonymity, which may help people open up more quickly if they feel like they can share anything that comes to mind without repercussions from their therapist.
Text counseling is cheaper than in-person therapy. There is no office space to rent, no staff to pay, and no need to take time off of work. Texting is also less intrusive than scheduling an appointment with someone by phone, which some people may not want to do every time they have something going on in their lives.
How does it work? When you sign up for text counseling, your therapist will send you a message whenever he or she has a free minute. Sometimes the messages come in groups of three, which means there is a short wait before you get called back.