A Survey of Carers' Interest in Face to Face and Internet Based Counselling: Carers' Interest in Counselling via the Internet
Since the mid 1990s counsellors have debated if it is appropriate to provide counselling services via the Internet. Specifically, the appropriateness of electronic mail (email) and Internet chat counselling have been controversial topics in counselling circles. Very few studies, however, have explored the interest various groups have for counselling provided face to face and via the Internet. The current research outlines one group’s interest in counselling and specifically the group’s interest in counselling in person and via the Internet through email and chat services. A selection of carers making use of services from an Australian carers support program indicated a very high interest in counselling. Of those interested in counselling the vast majority wanted counselling services provided face to face. A very small proportion were interested in Internet mediated, email or Internet chat, counselling. Client proposed fees for face to face and Internet based counselling are also identified. Organisations are encouraged to explore the counselling wants and needs of their clientele prior to offering various services, as counselling services should match client wants and to avoid the development of underused services.
Keywords: Email, Internet, Counselling, Counseling, Electronic Mail
Dr Nadine Pelling
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied Psychological Research: Counselling Group, University of South Australia