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Opportunities and Challenges: School Guidance Counsellors’ Perceptions of Counselling Students Online

  • Kevin Glasheen (a1), Marilyn A. Campbell (a1) and Ian Shochet (a1)

School guidance counsellors worldwide seek ways of providing appropriate professional assistance to all students. While young people integrate online technology into their daily lives and go online for information and to communicate with each other, school counsellors in Australia are not offering online support to students. This cross-sectional study reported on the reluctance of school counsellors to offer online counselling and the reasons for this. A survey was developed focusing on the intention to offer online counselling based on indicative factors favouring the use of this initiative. 210 school guidance counsellors completed the survey online, which showed that there is conditional support for the introduction of online counselling into the school setting. Counsellors indicated that they would use online counselling if students accepted its use in the school setting though they question how genuine students would be in its use. Most respondents reported a lack of confidence in understanding the ethical and legal implications of online counselling. However, the majority of participants were prepared to undertake further professional development in this mode of counselling. Additionally, they sought confirmation of the effectiveness of counselling students online before committing themselves to it. The implications for school guidance practice are discussed.

Corresponding author
address for correspondence: Prof Marilyn Campbell MAPS, School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus QLD 4059, Australia. Email:
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