ERIC Number: EJ1049107
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People
Dowling, Mitchell J.; Rickwood, Debra J.
Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling, v24 n2 p183-196 Dec 2014
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.
Descriptors: Computer Mediated Communication, Counseling Techniques, Focus Groups, Counselors, Counselor Attitudes, Adolescents, Youth, Counselor Role, Attitude Measures, Mental Disorders, Counselor Client Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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