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Online and Telephone Counselling Course

The course exceeds 80 hours of guided learning and the learning outcomes are mapped to the 2021BACP competencies for telephone and e-counselling.

Most of the course is self-directed learning via online lectures and resources; this means that you can work at your own pace, and complete the course with no external time pressure.

 Next course to begin in September 2024

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80 hours of guided tuition, self-directed learning, exercises and buddy training – all online, accessed via a secure portal

Total flexibility to study at your own pace

Blended learning to accommodate varied learning styles, including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic

Supporting documents and experiential work to reinforce your learning

A completion certificate to evidence your learning equivalent to 80 hours of CPD

Online and Telephone Counselling Course customer feedback

"I just wanted to say also how helpful I have found the online and telephone course, I have got 4 clients with Cancer Support Yorkshire, email and telephone work at the moment and also one client via video link for Bradford Counselling Services." 

- Heidi, Shipley (United Kingdom)


British Association For Counselling And Psychotherapy (BACP)

The course meets the 2021 BACP and ACTO competence framework requirements for practitioners who wish to work with clients via telephone and e-counselling.

The course equips practitioners with the skills, knowledge and abilities to work online and offer services as an online and telephone counsellor, providing that the practitioner already holds a formally recognised counselling qualification.


National Counselling  & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS)

This course has been awarded Quality Checked training recognition by the NCPS.


Association for Counselling & Therapy Online (ACTO)

Counselling Tutor is a recognised ACTO Online Training Provider.

This course leads to ACTO Level 1 membership with a progression option for ACTO Level 2 membership.

Information on ACTO membership can be found on the ACTO website.


  • Qualified counsellors and psychotherapists
  • Counselling students who are client facing

The course equips practitioners with the skills, knowledge and abilities to work online and offer services as an online and telephone counsellor, providing that the practitioner already holds a formally recognised counselling qualification and is a member of a professional body.

Note For Students - If you are a student who has not yet graduated then this course will not qualify you to work online.

The course is appropriate learning for students who are on level 4 (or equivalent) as it will give you the skills you need for working in your placement or when you go into placement.

For a student to qualify to work online, you must first graduate so you hold a formal counselling qualification and you must be a member of a professional body.

Students check with your course provider that you may work online or via telephone before enrolling on this course.



Penny, Devon

"They leave no stone unturned as far as giving you the right information to help you become an informed counsellor. I have used Counselling tutor since the beginning of my journey studying to become a counsellor, I am now in my second year of private practice."

- Penny, DEVON (United Kingdom)

Gerri, Co Tyrone, N.Ireland

"The course has highlighted things I would never have thought of. Rory and Ken have a very congruent way of delivering, you can see they have "walked the walk" and are genuinely sharing their experiences on how to best transition from face to face counselling to on-line and/or telephone counselling."

- Gerri, CO TYRONE (Northern Ireland)

Online and Telephone counselling

"The course is packed full of all the information and knowledge you need to give you the skills to take your practise online. The learning is very comprehensive and both Rory and Ken explain things in a manner which is serious, factual and informative as well as including the right amount of humour and anecdotes from their own experiences and practices."

- Shanne, WEST YORKSHIRE (United Kingdom)

Lucy Cleveland copy

"If you think you know how to make the switch then think again. This in depth, practical course will make you aware of all the essentials that keep you the professional in the relationship." 

- Lucy, CLEVELAND (Ohio, USA)

Lyn, Devon copy

"Before I started the course I thought to myself 'how hard can it be', I had no idea all the considerations and complexities involved.  I am so pleased I attended the course, my insights into telephone and on-line counselling have increased 100 fold."

- Lyn, DEVON (United Kingdom)

Brian Birmingham

"I've enrolled on your excellent Online Counselling training course. It really is well put together and I especially like the 'bite-size chunks' of each module - I can process and reflect on each subject before clearing my mind for the next part."

- Brain, BIRMINGHAM (United Kingdom)


Most of the course is self-directed learning via the online lectures and resources; this means that you can work at your own pace, and complete the course without any external time pressure.

The course learning outcomes are mapped to the BACP competences for telephone and e-counselling.


e-therapy course tutor Ken Kelly

Kenneth Kelly

Kenneth – or Ken – Kelly is a practising counsellor and a clinical supervisor.

Ken completed a post-graduation certificate in online and telephone counselling in 2012.

He also holds a teaching qualification and authored the textbook Basic Counselling Skills: A Student Guide.

In his position as Co-Director at Counselling Tutor, Ken focuses on online training provision and specialises in outcome-based online learning.

online counselling course tutor Rory Lees-Oakes

Rory Lees-Oakes

Rory Lees-Oakes is Co-Director at Counselling Tutor and author of Counselling Theory in Practice: A Student Guide.

He spent over a decade lecturing in counselling. Rory is a qualified counsellor, clinical supervisor and lecturer.

In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Silver Plato award for outstanding use of technology in education. He is also a Fellow of the Pearson Teaching Awards.

An avid drinker of tea, he’s more likely to be found in a tea room than a bar.


Module 1: Introduction to Online Counselling
      • Online mindset
      • Benefits and challenges
      • Suitability/assessment
      • Synchronous vs asynchronous communication
      • Online contracting
      • Your relationship with technology
      • Clients' relationship with technology
      • Using the right technology
Module 2: Working Ethically and Legally
      • Ethical and legal requirements
      • Best fit for the client?
      • Working within your jurisdiction
      • Insurance considerations
      • Online confidentiality
      • Data protection
      • Your disclaimer if things go wrong
Module 3: Managing Risk
      • Referrals
      • Black hole effect
      • Emergency contact - Samaritans, etc
      • Risk management
      • Therapist boundaries
Module 4: Transferring Skills into an Online Environment
      • Effectiveness of online therapy (what the research says)
      • Phone counselling: Therapist considerations
      • Clients seeing themselves: What we need to know
      • Text counselling: therapist considerations
      • Working without visual cues
Module 5: Therapist Specific Considerations
      • Online presence
      • Supervision
      • Self-care
      • Endings
      • Evaluation forms
Module 6: Progression

Into practice and beyond

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