The working alliance in online counselling for crisis intervention and youth

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Brown, Georgina
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, c2012
The Internet is becoming a more realistic means of accessing support, especially for those who are unable to or are uncomfortable with accessing supports in person. One population that experiences barriers to accessing face-to-face support is youth, and online counselling is an option available for youth to overcome these barriers (King, Bambling, Lloyd, et al., 2006). Online counselling can occur through e-mail and chat services; however, due to the text-based nature of these services, their effectiveness is criticized for having a lack of verbal and nonverbal communication (Cook & Doyle, 2002). Research, however, has suggested that it is possibly this lack of verbal and nonverbal cues that make online counselling effective. Research has also suggested that the effectiveness of counselling can be measured by the working alliance (Fletcher-Tomenius & Vossler, 2009; Hanley, 2009). This study explored if an effective working alliance can be established in online counselling mediums with youth who are in crisis. A quantitative research approach was taken, in which 91 youth completed an online survey that asked how they felt towards online support services. The results of this study suggest that youth respond positively to the lack of verbal and nonverbal cues; youth appear to enjoy an increase sense of anonymity that is created within online support services, which can contribute to open communication. In addition, the results suggest that an effective working alliance is established in online counselling services, as it was found that youth typical felt happy and satisfied with the services they received.
x, 135 leaves ; 29 cm
Counseling -- Computer network resources , Youth -- Counseling of , Teenagers -- Counseling of , Crisis intervention (Mental health services) , Dissertations, Academic