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Online Counselling and Guidance Skills

Online Counselling and Guidance Skills
A Practical Resource for Trainees and Practitioners

  • Jane Evans - Counsellor, Supervisor and Consultant in Private Practice

December 2008 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

'A very practical text that provides professionals new to this arena with a good introduction to what they can expect to encounter in online work. The book contains numerous thought-provoking examples and exercises for those contemplating work in virtual arenas' - Terry Hanley, Lecturer in Counselling, University of Manchester

`It's tempting to think that face-to-face experience translates straightforwardly to online work. But it doesn't. Jane Evans shows how many different aspects there are to counselling on-line… My advice would be, don't attempt it until you have worked through this book' - Professor Michael Jacobs, author of Psychodynamic Counselling in Action

Counsellors - and other professionals who provide emotional support and guidance - are increasingly working online. The difference between online and face-to-face interaction with clients is vast and practitioners need to equip themselves with specialist knowledge and skills to ensure that they are being effective.

Online Counselling and Guidance Skills is the first book to deal with the practicalities of this mode of working. It looks at how practitioners need to adapt their basic counselling skills to the online environment and guides them through the process of setting up, defining and maintaining a working relationship with a client within professional, ethical and legal boundaries. Case studies and extracts from online sessions show how the skills are put into practice, while practical exercises and points for further consideration help readers to develop their own knowledge and skills.

Until now, books and articles have generally focused on the therapeutic work done by counsellors online. However, this book addresses people who use counselling skills in a wide range of contexts; including counselling, education, mental health, social care and careers guidance.

The Foundations
Establishing Practitioner Suitability for Adopting the Use of Online Counselling Skills

Confidence Building When Using Counselling Skills with Computer Mediated Technology

Online System Stability and Suitability: What To Do in the Event of Technology Breakdown

The Structure of Effective Practice: Individual Client Sessions and Meetings

Online Security Procedures

Administration, Management and Storage of Client Material

Establishing an Online Presence
Online Presence

Working Without Visual or Auditory Cues


The Online Relationship

The Initial Online Interaction

Forming a Physical Perspective of a Client

Helping Clients to Help Themselves

Online Expression
Online Empathy

Online Feeling Expression

Responding to Feeling Expression

Online Disinhibition

Emoticons and Acronyms

Online Listening, Attunement and Attending to the Client
Communicating Presence, Interest and Attention

Developing and Maintaining Attunement

Establishing and Maintaining an Open Dialogue
Seeking Clarification

The Use of Questions

Paraphrasing and Summarising

Working with Client Resistance and non-verbal Cues

Offering Challenge and Feedback

Managing Misunderstandings and Conflict

Online Immediacy

Self Disclosure

Online Assessment and Contracting
Client Groups Seeking Online Support

Assessment Procedures


Online Risk Assessment



Professional Considerations in Online Practice
Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries within Online Interactions and Online Communities

Appointment Schedules and Organising a Conducive Working Environment for Online Practice

Online Practitioner Professional Responsibilities:

The Relevance of Professional Creativity and Encompassing Differing Theoretical Perspectives When Seeking to Engage Online Clients

Professional Guidelines for Online Practice
Ethical Practice and Guidelines

Membership and Affiliation to Professional Bodies

Supervision Arrangements for Online Practitioners


Practitioners who use counselling skills in a wide range of contexts: including counselling, education, mental health, social care and careers guidance; and students taking online counselling skills courses

This book is useful for any trainee considering doing online work. With clinical examples, it guides practitioners on developing their knowledge and skills for remote counselling.
From assessment and contracting, the author also addresses other important aspects of remote clinical practice such establishing online presence and the development of the therapeutic relationship.

Mrs Ana Paula Wellbrook
Counselling and Psychology, City Lit
December 12, 2021

Fantastic book, recommended for anyone planning to work therapeutically online. Gives an excellent overview of the key issues to consider.

Miss Joanna Sharpen
Children and young people's project, AVA (against violence and abuse)
May 29, 2014


Ms Yolanda Greene-allen-boggs
alternative counseling and abuse, UCO of muller in bethany
March 27, 2012

Great for online and classroom teaching a text that is so new in its message

Ms Yolanda Greene-allen-boggs
alternative counseling and abuse, UCO of muller in bethany
February 17, 2012

excellence read

Ms Yolanda Greene-allen-boggs
gen studies & counseling in ed, uco ad sped
December 15, 2011

Easy to read and apply in practice, good for communication skills

Ms Pat Clarke
Fac of Health & Applied Social Scienc, Liverpool John Moores University
October 20, 2010

Useful text about online guidance.

Mr Peter Beven
Sch of Health,Community & Educ Studies, Northumbria University
September 6, 2010

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ISBN: 9781412948654
ISBN: 9781412948647

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