A psychotherapist online. In search of professional psychotherapy – preliminary report
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Szpital Uniwersytecki w Krakowie. Oddział Kliniczny Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Dzieci i Młodzieży
Uniwersytet Jagielloński Collegium Medicum, Wydział Lekarski, Katedra Psychiatrii, Klinika Psychiatrii i Psychoterapii Dzieci i Młodzieży
Submission date: 2022-08-28
Final revision date: 2023-04-13
Acceptance date: 2023-04-18
Publication date: 2023-08-03
Corresponding author
Klaudiusz Krzysztof Kudła   

Klinika Psychiatrii Dorosłych, Dzieci i Młodzieży, Szpital Uniwersytecki, Kraków
Psychoter 2023;204(1):67-78
The article is an attempt at a preliminary description of the way of presenting psychotherapeutic services on the Internet, and to find out to what extent people seeking help from specialists using search engines are able to receive adequate and professional help.

In the period between 18.11.2020 and 25.02.2021, the phrase "psychotherapy Kraków" was repeatedly entered into the Google search engine, which was followed by an analysis and assessment of the data contained on the websites based on an original questionnaire. Fifty-five online profiles of individuals providing psychotherapy were analyzed.

The analysis of websites made it possible to distinguish information made available by therapists advertising their services on the web. Most of the analyzed profiles belonged to women (70%). The majority of therapists had higher education (92%), most often in the field of psychology (73%). Also, many of those who advertised were undergoing (58%) or completed (20%) comprehensive therapeutic training, offered online registration and provided a price list of services. A small percentage of the profiles displayed information about membership in psychotherapeutic associations and societies as well as professional experience. Some of the profiles allowed for assessments by patients/clients, which were almost entirely positive (98%).

Most of the analyzed profiles met the criteria of suggesting the possibility of receiving professional therapeutic care. The easiest information to obtain is related to the therapists' education, registration process or price list. The greatest information gaps were related to their experience, membership to scientific or professional associations and access to supervision. Few therapists post such information on their websites or do not belong to any association of psychotherapists.

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