Asynchronous text-based therapy and IM / live chat synchronous are therapy when the session is fully contracted as all other therapy.
It may take the format of a 50 minute session or it may come as a “time bundle”. In all cases a contract will have been signed and an information pack will have been sent with a full explanation of the way that the live chat or email would happen and the risks involved. It is for these reasons that ACTO now requires all therapists doing live chat / email to be trained in these formats, because of the safe guarding and risk management issues and as well developing the skills of working with the unseen and “reading between the lines.”
SMS, mobile phone to mobile phone should NEVER be used for therapeutic purposes. Email and IM/live chat should only use GDPR compliant platforms for therapeutic purposes.