An exploration into internet counselling

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Swan, Therese
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BA Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This thesis explores the nature of online counselling with regard to its therapeutic affect for the client, how it differs from face-to-face counselling, how the online counsellor compensates for the lack of physical cues (i.e. facial expressions), legislation and ethical guidelines in place, and how it is viewed by other counsellors. This thesis looks at some of the core themes in the relationship between counsellor and client that assist the therapeutic process and ascertains the extent to which they are present in online counselling. These themes are, Rapport, Transference, Intuition, Sight, Speech and Fantasy. This thesis also explores issues which are unique to online counselling such as the 'disinhibition affect' and 'netiquette'. A questionnaire (see appendix 1) was drawn up and sent to 40 counselling students, which asked the respondents (all of whom were working with clients) their attitudes and opinions towards online counselling. As this thesis is exploring Internet counselling the research is such that it mainly comprises of the Literature Review and the sections on overcoming the limitations of Cyberspace, which form the main body of the work.