Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People

Mitchell Dowling, Debra RICKWOOD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

chat
counselor
Counseling
counseling
Gatekeeping
experience
Mental Health Services
Focus Groups
Research
Psychology
health service
mental health
Counselors
human being
methodology
evidence
Therapeutics
Group

Cite this

@article{5579407f2a0e443e80d6e0cc8fb1c3e8,
title = "Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People",
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.",
keywords = "internet, online, counsellors, counselling, adolescents, young people",
author = "Mitchell Dowling and Debra RICKWOOD",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1017/jgc.2013.28",
language = "English",
volume = "24",
pages = "183--196",
journal = "Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling",
issn = "1037-2911",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "2",

}

Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People. / Dowling, Mitchell; RICKWOOD, Debra.

In: Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2014, p. 183-196.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Experiences of Counsellors Providing Online Chat Counselling to Young People

AU - Dowling, Mitchell

AU - RICKWOOD, Debra

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - internet

KW - online

KW - counsellors

KW - counselling

KW - adolescents

KW - young people

U2 - 10.1017/jgc.2013.28

DO - 10.1017/jgc.2013.28

M3 - Article

VL - 24

SP - 183

EP - 196

JO - Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

JF - Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling

SN - 1037-2911

IS - 2

ER -