The terms online therapy and online counseling encompass a variety of ways that a skilled mental health professional can help people effectively over the Internet without ever meeting them face to face.
I see most clients in a secure, password protected chat room on my online therapy website. The chat room can also accommodate a couple or a group. The chat is scheduled in realtime, usually in advance, just like a face to face chat in a therapist's office. But there are several differences.
We don't have to be in the same place or even in the same time zone. If we choose to work by email rather than in the chat room, we don't even have to coordinate our schedules to match.
Scheduling is flexible. Some clients meet with me once a week at the same time every week, others don't, depending on their needs.
We don't see each other. This gives clients more control over how they choose to present themselves.
We express our feelings not through visual cues but with the techniques that texting and the Internet have developed to replace them. We can also intuit a lot from silences and word choices in the chat room. And if we aren't sure, we can ask.