How Your Email Counselling and Therapy Service Works

This service offers maximum flexibility and convenience, together with straightforward pricing so you know just what counselling will cost.

Signing Up

The Getting Started page will guide you through a few simple steps required to begin our counselling relationship, and soon after completing these steps, you will receive a note with a special email address for contacting me. This email will be especially for communications between the two of us, and using it will help us each to be sure of the identity of the other person. At this time, you may also wish to take advantage of the option to encrypt emails.

Exchanging Emails

Once your account has been set up, we can exchange emails at whatever frequency you would like. Many clients write once or twice per week, while some write more frequently, and just a few write less frequently than once per week. Because of the nature of email, you are not restricted to any particular time of day or day of the week.

During our initial emails, we will both need to decide whether we believe we can work effectively together — and either of us may decide we would prefer to discontinue our counselling relationship. A waiting list will also sometimes be in effect, and if there is a waiting list, I will do my best to provide an accurate estimate of the likely delay before I would be able to begin working with you.

In order to provide a uniform quality of service to all clients, I make every effort to keep my average time committed to reading and answering emails within a certain range; if you choose to write very frequently, this is not at all a problem, although it is possible that I will have to write somewhat less frequently. (If this should be the case, I will let you know as soon as it becomes a concern.) Normally, I respond to emails which are less than 1500 words within 2 business days. Longer emails may take somewhat longer; a rough rule of thumb is that longer emails up to 2500 words may take 3 business days, up to 3500 words may take 4 business days, and so on.

I provide all clients with a special URL which they can check for updates on specific times when I will be out of the office, as well as procedures to follow should they ever suspect the security or privacy of our communications has been compromised.

Determining Costs

As described on the What Does it Cost? page, I provide email counselling in two different ways, each of which offers you almost complete control over costs. If you opt for the subscription option, you receive unlimited email counselling for a given period of time for a fixed price. If you opt for the ‘WordBank’ plan, you can choose to pay for longer or shorter emails, and your ‘WordBank’ balance may be topped up at any time via secure credit card purchase; discounts are available for the purchase of larger blocks of words.

What About Encryption and Security?

I support PGP-based encryption without additional charge, and all emails, once received (whether originally encrypted or not), are stored under 128-bit AES encryption of the same strength used by international financial institutions and national governments. If you would like to make use of optional OpenPGP-compatible encryption, please visit PGP Corporation for details on downloading and installing their software, or use a free OpenPGP-compatible service provider such as (Please note that I do not offer technical support for PGP, and I do not provide the software itself.)

Matters of security and privacy are so important to the counselling process that a separate page specifically addresses Privacy and Confidentiality, while another covers Encryption and Security.

This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser on . provides educational and informational content, not mental health advice. No warranty or representation, either expressed or implied, is given with respect to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for purpose of any statement or view expressed on this site.

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