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It was unbelievably difficult to show that naked text to anyone.

Not only did it reveal where I was sad, angry and afraid; it exposed that I had been selfish and had lied to myself.

But online therapists have found really interesting ways of getting people to be responsible."In text, you not only have to pay attention to your emotions, you have to recognize them and express them yourself.

That means including notes like "I just welled up with tears" or "suddenly furious." Emoticons also have an important role in adding "tone," Mankita said, and both parties must work hard to lay groundwork and establish communication protocols.

If talking about sex or admitting your faults as a partner embarrasses you, working with an online therapist can make you more comfortable expressing yourself.

Some therapists fret that text doesn't permit nuance.

Yet I felt I would implode if I didn't immediately talk to someone neutral and anonymous. I'm not sure why I didn't call a counselor during regular business hours; it wasn't as if the trouble happened only that one night, without warning. If you're a regular Sex Drive reader, you know I'm not shy (although I'll admit this is not the easiest lede I've ever written).

That's when you start planning to meet in person.In person, you can hope the therapist tunes in to your body language, providing a bridge between feeling an emotion and expressing it."One thing therapists learn in school first off is that when assessing a client, you balance what they say against what you see," says Mankita."At the very beginning, it was incredibly hard to get used to (relying on clients to report their own emotions).She's seen the technology evolve, and the practice right along with it."(Online counseling) teaches clients to be aware of what's coming out of their mouths, what they're feeling and thinking, their wholeness and whole bodies," Mankita said."It's an exciting and empowering thing that we haven't done in the past (in person) the way we can with text.

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