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Email therapy

Email therapy gives you an opportunity to talk through your difficulties using written emails, rather than via video or in person. If you would like to register for email therapy, you will be given an appointment time in the same way as you would for a face to face session. We ask that you send in your email 24 hours before this appointment, and your therapist will send you their email reply during the appointment, or as soon as possible afterwards.

Please also be aware that this is not an instant messaging service, but an opportunity for you to have an ongoing written exchange with a therapist using traditional email.

How can I get started with email therapy?

  1. Decide if email therapy is appropriate for you (read below and through the FAQs to find out more).
    1. Register to use the Email Therapy Service through the Wellbeing Portal (select Make an Enquiry/Access a Brief Consultation/Arrange a consultation). When you do this you will be sent a message asking you to join a queue for a brief consultation session with a Wellbeing Adviser; however, if you are certain that you would like Email Therapy and would rather not have a brief consultation, then you can reply to the message you receive letting us know that, and you will then be allocated an email therapy appointment.
    • Your appointment will be scheduled for as soon as one is available, but this may not be for a few weeks. Please check your appointment date to ensure that you send in your email at the right time; emails may not be read before your appointment time.
    • By registering for Email Therapy you are indicating that you have read through the information below and the FAQs, and have determined that email therapy is appropriate for you
    • Please bear in mind that email therapy is for students wishing to engage in ongoing therapy: for help with practical issues (accommodation, exams, health etc.) you will need to take part in a consultation.

Why might I choose email therapy?

Email therapy can be useful to work with a range of issues, similar to face to face therapy. You might choose email therapy (instead of face-to-face) because:

  • It gives you an opportunity to write down your issues and see your own words so you can reflect on them·
  • You can read and re-read both what you are writing and what the email therapist is writing – at any time·
  • You can write your email and read the reply at a time convenient for you·
  • It gives you an opportunity for therapy without having to “meet” (albeit possibly virtually) someone face-to-face
  • You can work in a ‘virtual therapy relationship’ which, although there are no verbal or visual clues, can be rewarding as you have to be explicit in putting words to your emotions – which can be therapeutic in itself
  • It may be easier for practical reasons, such as if you are away from the University abroad and in a different time zone, or you do not have sufficient privacy for a video call

Why might I not choose email therapy?

In some circumstances email therapy may not be right for you, perhaps because it would not offer a responsive enough level of support, or because it might be counterproductive. Circumstances in which this might apply include:

  • If you are actively suicidal and unable to keep yourself safe
  • If you use alcohol or non-prescribed drugs excessively
  • If you have a condition which means you are likely to experience paranoia or psychosis

If you register for Email Therapy and your therapist determines that it's not appropriate for you, you may be invited to book a video or in person therapy session instead, or to seek out other support. In an emergency or if you require urgent support, please see the details of emergency contacts.

You can engage with EITHER email therapy OR face to face therapy. It is important to choose which service you wish to use, as working with two therapists at the same time can be counter-productive. The email therapy service is not set up as a stop-gap service before face to face therapy.