E-Counselling Training

Many counsellors and psychotherapists are considering offering online and telephone counselling, however, there is an ethical requirement for the practitioner to undertake an e-counselling training course.

When looking for an e-therapy training course, the best practice is to look to your professional body for details on what e-therapy competencies are required in your country and jurisdiction.

Counsellor undergoing e-therapy Counselling Training

BACP e-therapy and telephone counselling training

We run our online and telephone counselling course in the UK and we map our course to the BACP core competencies for online and telephone counselling.

ONLINE AND TELEPHONE COUNSELLING TRAINING COURSE

Training on how to transfer face to face skills to work safely and ethically online and via telephone

The BACP’s curriculum suggests that e-counselling training courses include the following topics, which it splits into eight module areas:

  1. introduction to telephone and e-counselling, including the BACP’s Ethical Framework
  2. psychological processes relevant to telephone and e-counselling
  3. assessment of clients for telephone and e-counselling
  4. contracting and boundaries for telephone and e-counselling
  5. communicating with telephone and e-counselling
  6. text-based communication and creativity in telephone and e-counselling
  7. managing risk when telephone and e-counselling
  8. endings and supervision in telephone and/or e-counselling.

The training curriculum describes each of these areas in some detail, looking at the aim of each, the associated learning outcomes, the content and suggested formative assessments.

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Online Counselling Training

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Online Counselling Books

There are many books on the topic of telephone and e-counselling counselling training (that is, therapy conducted remotely either by video, telephone, text or email).

However, no amount of reading can make you fully competent to practise as an online counsellor or psychotherapist – just as this approach would not enable you to work safely and ethically face-to-face either.

To call yourself an e-therapist, you will need to undertake a formal online and telephone training course.

Online therapy Courses Entry Requirements

hands of a man on his laptop looking for an e-therapy course

In general, training for online therapy is a continuing professional development (CPD) course – in other words, you need to be a qualified practitioner (or at least be signed off as fit to practise as a trainee counsellor) before undertaking this.

Given the technological nature of the training, it is of course also important to have access to a computer or a tablet, and to have a reliable broadband connection.

Factors to Consider When Considering an E-Counselling Course

It’s important to research thoroughly what different training providers are offering.

Factors you may wish to consider include:

  • the extent to which the course aims and content fit your own learning goals
  • the time commitment involved
  • the cost and affordability of the training
  • whether the course involves practice hours and, if so, where you will achieve these
  • your supervisor’s view on your readiness to work online and on specific courses available
  • your supervisor’s own experience of online counselling and of supervising online therapists.

In-depth training that includes a strong experiential element as well as covering all the relevant theory is required to be a fully-fledged online therapist.

Looking for Online and Telephone Counselling Training

A good starting point when looking for online counselling courses is your professional body.

You may find that they offer a free introductory course, which you can use as a starting point, and then build on this with more in-depth training as you develop your knowledge and skills.

In-depth training that includes a strong experiential element as well as covering all the relevant theory is required to be a fully-fledged online therapist.

However, starting with a shorter course can be a cost-effective and more manageable way to:

  • ascertain whether this area of work will be of genuine interest to you
  • evaluate the provider before investing in and committing to a more detailed course.

For example, the BACP requires therapists to undertake a formal training course with a minimum of 80 hours of guided learning and experiential work that is mapped to its set of core competences.

But you might wish to start off with a smaller course to test the water before diving into a course of that length. Try to choose one that is linked with and/or accredited by your ethical body.

Ensuring that you access high-quality training before setting up as an online therapist is important both for your own professionalism (e.g. maintaining and building your reputation) and for ensuring that you are working truly in service of the client.

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Online Counselling Training

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In the UK, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) published a research-based curriculum framework, entitled Telephone and E-Counselling Training Curriculum in 2016.

The curriculum is drawn from the BACP’s competences for online therapy.

Setting a minimum standard to which practitioners should be trained, it aims to enable them to become competent in – and able to draw on – the knowledge and practice of online counselling, and to work in an effective and ethical way.

ONLINE AND TELEPHONE COUNSELLING TRAINING COURSE

Training on how to transfer face to face skills to work safely and ethically online and via telephone