If I decided, two years ago, to start an e-mail therapy, it was because I was obsessed with a former teacher, whom I had contacted again after years.
Twenty years ago, I had been in a face-to-face analytical trend therapy, which I was quite satisfied with. Thanks to her, I could understand why I multiplied tortuous and impossible love affair.
Two years ago, I went back to my former psychiatrist. But I had the impression (maybe false) that this time, he could not help me. And most importantly, I did not want to tell him again the same stories of childhood and adolescence. When I left, I preferred someone to give me another look.
It was while browsing the forum of the site of a practitioner - among others - the therapy by e-mails, that I discovered the existence of it. The therapist's writings made me want to work with him on myself. Except that he lived in North America: thousands of kilometers separated us! Fortunately, he offered this e-mail therapy formula.
The principle? I could send him as many e-mails as I wanted, knowing he was answering me at least three times a week. In practice, it turned out that the most effective thing was to wait for his feedback, to answer his questions and thoughts, and to write what came to mind then.
The distance helping, I felt really free to reveal everything to him. I think that's what allowed me to evolve much faster than if this therapy had been more traditional.
Thanks to this formula too, therapy was constantly on my mind. Very often, ideas came to me during the day: I could immediately "lay" them on the screen of my computer, to rephrase later more thoroughly.
I also had the opportunity to re-read old exchanges with my therapist and thus, to be aware of my evolution.
I spent hours writing these emails. Writing takes time, so it is true that before engaging in this type of therapy, it is undoubtedly desirable - so that this introspective work is really effective without spreading over years -, be prepared to invest much more than the time that a face-to-face therapy would take.
I do not think that e-mail therapy is right for everyone. It requires a command of the written language sufficient to describe the events, situations, feelings ... and without which a lack of precision would make the understanding and therefore the exchange between the patient and the therapist difficult.The gestures, the look, the intonation of the voice are not there to accompany our words.
In any case, it suited me very well. And, in three months of exchanges, I could understand my obsession towards this teacher: I had postponed on her a lack of maternal affection in my childhood.
If I decided one day to resume therapy, I would choose above all the therapist, someone who inspires me confidence, makes me want to confide in him and who seems competent. The type of therapy and the way of practicing being for me secondary.