Text is really powerful."Online therapy is particularly suited to sex and relationship work, especially for clients who crave a layer of anonymity we can't get by going through our insurance companies or driving to an office.

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Like many netizens who take to chat like Labrador retrievers to tennis balls, I didn't think I would be able to go deep enough verbally.

So I wrote e-mail, including emotions, raw and fast, without editing thoughts or words on the page, and sent it to a couple of friends without letting myself revise or polish.

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).

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I called Susan Mankita, LCSW, a social work consultant and educator in Miami, Florida, to ask how online sex therapy fits within the counseling profession as a whole.

Mankita has been training mental-health professionals about online practice since 1995; she developed and moderated the AOL Social Work Forum for 10 years.

When members of an adult chat room are up past their bedtime, the text is ripe with passion, drama and revelation.

It's a combination of the late hour and the act of writing, which taps into the part of our souls that keeps diaries and pours our heart out on the page.

There are thousands of active singles on Date looking to chat right now.