Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-cf9d5c678-ttsf8 Total loading time: 0.227 Render date: 2021-08-05T17:56:30.607Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2014

Mitchell J. Dowling
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Debra J. Rickwood
Affiliation:
Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia Headspace: National Youth Mental Health Foundation, North Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Corresponding

Abstract

Online counselling is a rapidly growing field and, while there is emerging evidence of its comparative effectiveness, there has been little research into what techniques are being applied in practice and which clients will most likely benefit from this medium. Using a focus group methodology, this study examines the experiences of 19 online clinicians employed by a youth mental health service, investigating their perception of online clients, views on their counsellor roles, the approaches and techniques they employ, and the unique aspects of counselling in an online environment. Overall, online clinicians perceived their clients as presenting with highly complex problems and a high level of psychological distress. They noted online clients would most often use the service once or twice, and that some would use online chat as an adjunct to face-to-face counselling. The online clinicians described various roles, including: assessments, gatekeeping, providing emotional support, and therapeutic interventions. According to the online clinicians, they used a variety of techniques online, but favoured person-centred techniques, as these helped keep the clients engaged with the service. Areas of further research and implications for practice are discussed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Australian Academic Press Pty Ltd 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bambling, M., King, R., Reid, W., & Wegner, K. (2008). Online counselling: The experience of counsellors providing synchronous single-session counselling to young people. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 8 (2), 110116. doi:10.1080/14733140802055011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Barak, A., Klein, B., & Proudfoot, J. (2009). Defining internet-supported therapeutic interventions. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 38 (1), 417. doi:10.1007/s12160-009-9130-7CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Barkham, M., Connell, J., Stiles, W., Miles, J.N., Margison, F., Evans, C., & Mellor-Clark, J. (2006). Dose-effect relations and responsive regulation of treatment duration: The good enough level. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, 160167. doi:10.1037/0022.006X.1.160CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bazeley, P. (2007). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. London: Sage.Google Scholar
Bradford, S., & Rickwood, D. (2012a). Adolescent's preferred modes of delivery for mental health services. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/camh.12002Google Scholar
Bradford, S., & Rickwood, D. (2012b). Psychosocial assessments for young people: A systematic review examining acceptability, disclosure and engagement, and predictive utility. Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics, 3, 111125. doi:10.2147/AHMT.S38442CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2), 77101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oaCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Callahan, A., & Inckle, K. (2012). Cybertherapy or psychobabble? A mixed methods study of online emotional support. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 40 (3), 261278. doi:10.1080/03069885.2012.681768CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chardon, L., Bagraith, K.S., & King, R.J. (2011). Counseling activity in single-session online counseling with adolescents: An adherence study. Psychotherapy Research, 21 (5), 583592. doi:10.1080/10503307.2011.592550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dowling, M., & Rickwood, D. (2013). Online counseling and therapy for mental health problems: A systematic review of individual synchronous interventions using chat. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 31 (1), 121. doi:10.1080/15228835.2012.728508CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DuBois, D. (2004). Clinical and demographic features of the online counselling client population. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 4 (1), 1822. doi:10.1080/14733140412331384028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fereday, J., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006). Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: A hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5 (1), 8092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fukkink, R., & Hermanns, J. (2009). Children's experiences with chat support and telephone support. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50 (6), 759766. doi:10.1111/j.1469–7610.2008.02024.xCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Haberstroh, S., Parr, G., Bradley, L., Morgan-Fleming, B., & Gee, R. (2008). Facilitating online counseling: Perspectives from counselors in training. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86 (4), 460470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heinlen, K., Welfel, E., Richmond, E., & O'Donnell, M. (2003). The nature, scope, and ethics of psychologists’ e-therapy web sites: What consumers find when surfing the Web. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 40 (1–2), 112124. doi:10.1037/0033-3204.40.1-2.112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hickie, I., Scott, J., & McGorry, P. (2013). Clinical staging for mental disorders: A new development in diagnostic practice in mental health. Medical Journal of Australia, 198 (9), 461462. doi:10.5694/mja13.10431.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kessler, D., Lewis, G., Kaur, S., Wiles, N., King, M., Weich, S., . . . Peters, T. (2009). Therapist-delivered internet psychotherapy for depression in primary care: A randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 374 (9690), 628634. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61257-5CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
King, R., Bambling, M., Lloyd, C., Gomurra, R., Smith, S., Reid, W., & Wegner, K. (2006). Online counselling: The motives and experiences of young people who choose the Internet instead of face to face or telephone counselling. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 6 (3), 169174. doi:10.1080/14733140600848179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, R., Bambling, M., Reid, W., & Thomas, I. (2006). Telephone and online counselling for young people: A naturalistic comparison of session outcome, session impact and therapeutic alliance. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 6 (3), 175181. doi:10.1080/14733140600874084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mallen, M.J., Jenkins, I.M., Vogel, D.L., & Day, S.X. (2011). Online counselling: An initial examination of the process in a synchronous chat environment. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 11 (3), 220227. doi:10.1080/14733145.2010.486865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murphy, L., Mitchell, D., & Hallett, R. (2011). A comparison of client characteristics in cyber and in-person counseling. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 167, 149153. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcp041Google ScholarPubMed
Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
Perle, J., Langsam, L., & Nierenberg, B. (2011). Controversy clarified: An updated review of clinical psychology and tele-health. Clinical Psychology Review, 31 (8), 12471258. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2011.08.003CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reese, R.J., Toland, M.D., & Hopkins, N.B. (2011). Replicating and extending the good-enough level model of change: Considering session frequency. Psychotherapy Research, 21 (5), 608619. doi:10.1080/10503307.2011.598580CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Robson, C. (2002). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner researchers. London: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Sampson, J., Kolodinsky, R., & Greeno, B. (1997). Counseling on the information highway: Future possibilities and potential problems. Journal of Counseling & Development, 75 (3), 203212. doi:10.1002/j.1556–6676.1997.tb02334.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Taylor, W., & Furlonger, B. (2011). A review of vicarious traumatisation and supervision among Australian telephone and online counsellors. Australian Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 21 (2), 225235. doi:10.1375/ajgc.21.2.225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tsan, J., & Day, S. (2007). Personality and gender as predictors of online counseling use. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 25 (3), 3955. doi:10.1300/J017v25n03_03CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Williams, R., Bambling, M., King, R., & Abbott, Q. (2009). In-session processes in online counselling with young people: An exploratory approach. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 9 (2), 93100. doi:10.1080/14733140802490606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Young, K.S. (2005). An empirical examination of client attitudes towards online counseling. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 8 (2), 172177.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
17
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *