I agree with you that we get a great deal of information from visual cues; however, the interpretation of what that means is no less an interpretation than what someone means when they write something about themselves in a forum like this one. After about seven years of interacting in groups in text-based environments I know that there are ways to work out a meaningful relationship in the online context. I don't claim that it is the same as meeting face to face, but in instances in which someone is shut-in, living in a rural location or otherwise cut off from the opportunity to meet with a good therapist, or in instances where an online therapist might provide a bridge toward meeting with a face-to-face therapist, then text-based therapeutic relationships can provide a valuable service.
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