Comparing online and face-to-face student counselling: what therapeutic goals are identified and what are the implications for educational providers?

Terry Hanley, Zehra Ersahin, Aaron Sefi, Judith Hebron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    123 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Online counselling is increasingly being used as an alternative to face-to-face student counselling. Using an exploratory mixed methods design, this project investigates the practice by examining the types of therapeutic goals that 11 to 25 year olds identify online in routine practice. These goals are then compared to goals identified in equivalent school and community-based counselling services. 1,137 online goals (expressed by 504 young people) and 221 face-to-face goals (expressed by 220 young people) were analysed for key themes using grounded theory techniques. This analysis identified three core categories (1) Intrapersonal Goals, (2) Interpersonal Goals, and (3) Intrapersonal Goals directly related to others. Further statistical analysis of these themes indicated that online and face-to-face services appear to be being used in different ways by students. These differences are discussed alongside the implications for professionals working in educational settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-54
    JournalJournal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    Early online date11 Oct 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

    Keywords

    • Adolescents
    • online counselling
    • school-based counselling
    • youth-counselling
    • goal-oriented therapy
    • help-seeking behaviours

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