In-session processes in online counselling with young people: An exploratory approach

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Aims: The aim of this study was to conduct an exploratory investigation into the in-session processes and behaviours that occur between therapists and young people in online counseling. Method: The Consensual Qualitative Research method was employed to identify in-session behaviours and a coding instrument was developed to determine their frequency of use and assess whether nuances carried in the meaning of text messages have an influential effect during sessions. 85 single-session transcripts were examined in total by two independent coders. Results: Sample statistics revealed that, on average, rapport-building processes were used more consistently across cases with both types of processes having a moderately strong positive effect on young people. However, closer examination of these processes revealed weaker positive effects for in-session behaviours that rely more heavily on verbal and non-verbal cues to be accurately interpreted. Implications for practice: These findings imply that therapists may focus more on building rapport than accomplishing tasks with young people during online counselling sessions due to the absence of verbal and non-verbal information when communicating via text messages.

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Journal Article

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