In recent years, online therapy has been gaining popularity due to its convenience and accessibility compared to traditional in-person therapy. However, many people may still resist online therapy, raising doubts over its effectiveness and safety. In this article, we’ll explore whether online therapy is a safe option

Understanding Privacy And Confidentiality

Privacy and confidentiality are the most important aspects of therapy, regardless of whether it happens in an online or offline space. In fact, confidentiality creates trust, which is an essential foundation for an effective therapeutic relationship. Most therapy platforms use encryption and secure servers to protect client information.

Apart from that, online therapy platforms or even individual therapists are required to follow the rules and regulations of ethical practice. These rules and regulations are set by either a governing body like the American Psychological Association (APA) or are a part of the organization’s code of conduct. Thus, most therapists are likely to inform clients about confidentiality and its limitations in the first session.

Understanding Limitations To Confidentiality

While therapists are ethically obligated to protect their client’s confidentiality, there are exceptions to this rule as well. These exceptions to confidentiality are discussed in the first session, along with confidentiality. Confidentiality is limited in situations where a client is in danger or can harm someone else. Confidentiality can also be broken in cases involving child abuse, These exceptions to confidentiality ensure that the client and others around them are safe and protected.

Guidelines For Therapists Practicing Online

The American Psychological Association (a regulatory body for psychologists in America) has published a guideline for online therapy. Every therapist is required to adhere to these guidelines. Most online therapy in India also have similar guidelines. They are:

  1. Psychologists must ensure that client data remains confidential and secure. They are required to take adequate security measures for the same.
  2. Psychologists must ensure that they address data, security and confidentiality concerns in their informed consent form to ensure that clients are well informed.
  3. Psychologists must ensure that they take adequate security measures before disposing of any client data, if and when required
  4. Psychologists must have strong passwords, encryption and other security measures to protect client data

How To Ensure That Online Therapy Is Safe?

While it is the legal and ethical responsibility of a psychologist and therapy platform to provide safe and confidential therapy to clients, there are some steps that clients can take to ensure that they have a safe therapy experience. They are:

  • Ask your therapist questions about safety, confidentiality and documentation. Most therapists will be comfortable answering questions about confidentiality.
  • Read the informed consent form carefully before submitting
  • Read the privacy policy of a therapy platform before submitting informed consent
  • Ensure your device has adequate safety measures, such as anti-virus protection.


Online therapy can be a safe and effective option for people seeking mental health support, as therapists and therapy platforms are required to follow guidelines for confidentiality and ethical practice. Clients can ensure a safe therapy experience by reading privacy policies, reading informed consent and having an open discussion regarding privacy and confidentiality with their therapists.


Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin