Introduction to Online Counselling

How much do you know about online counselling?

Interest in the possibilities afforded through online counselling is growing but many still don’t understand how it works. Along with this interest come both negative and positive opinions about online counselling.

In order to try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions, we’ve compiled a short survey www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCXRWH6 to gather your opinions and concerns about online counselling. We would very much appreciate it if you would participate in our survey, see below for more information.

History

John Suler, an American psychotherapist, has been researching the behaviour of individuals and groups in cyberspace for a decade now. He makes the point that today’s young people are “the generation that has grown up in cyberspace”. (http://users.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/decade.html) Young people especially are making use of the convenience and flexibility of online counselling. However, people of all ages, genders and cultures are also seeing this as a viable option for counselling.

Internet counselling can take many different forms, including email, instant messaging, webcam and some counsellors are even incorporating online whiteboards into their therapeutic practice.  Those who oppose email therapy, by saying that counselling cannot be done using words alone, might like to remember that Sigmund Freud himself treated some patients exclusively through written correspondence.

The first documented online therapy session was held in America in October 1972 and the International Society for Mental Health Online was formed in 1997 in the USA. (www.etherapyweb.com/ethicsinterview.pdf)

The UK caught up with the US in 2006 by forming it’s own ‘Association for Counselling and Therapy Online’ (ACTO). (www.acto-uk.org)  In order to maintain a high standard of care, they have a ‘Code of Ethics’ specifically for online counsellors in the UK.  ACTO also have a directory of online counsellors and having specialist online counselling training is one of the requirements for membership.

Survey

Online counselling might be something that you are interested in but feel you don’t know enough about to try. Now is your chance to participate anonymously in our survey about online counselling. It would give you a way to put your thoughts across and ask questions.www.surveymonkey.com/s/SCXRWH6

To contact Talk-in-Herts Counselling Services for specific information without obligation, email:enquiries@talk-in-herts-counselling.co.uk