E-therapy: A Look at the Benefits

Most of us would not have pursued a career in mental health helping (broadly including here counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, social work, and psychiatry) if we were not aware of and keen to extend to those in need the many benefits that the face-to-face therapeutic encounter brings. Accustomed to this format, we can easily dismiss online technologies as a viable way of delivering profession... »

Social Media: Breeding Ground for Multiple Relationships

It starts out innocently. You email the client a scanned copy of an article relevant to something that came up in session. She emails you back to say thank you, and then asks a question related to her therapy, which you feel duty-bound to answer, so you do; before you know it, there is regular email exchange taking place. A few weeks later, she rings on your cell phone to clarify something you sai... »

Counselling and Social Media: Opportunities and Risks

When Marshall McLuhan stated that “the medium is the message” (1964), he probably didn’t realise how prophetic his words would become a half-century later. Yet the exponential growth in online technology shapes ever more firmly how individuals learn, interact, and entertain themselves. Mental health professionals have offered treatment via communication technologies since the 1990s (Smith & Reynol... »

Caring for others: Ethical considerations

In two previous articles we discussed the process of providing emotional and psychological (or social) support to others – including the reasons why we help; the traps we can fall into as we attempt to help others; and the typical needs and motivations behind supporting others. In this article, we delve into key ethical considerations when providing social support, including the adoption of a code... »

Self-Disclosure – Concepts and Applications

Although we are ultimately social beings, most humans are both consciously and subconsciously determined to improve themselves, and to derive meaning to their existence. In this context, we are faced with the everyday challenge of balancing our own needs for fulfilment and recognition with the need to co-relate with others, to promote altruism and to help people in need. This paradox takes centre ... »

Effective Counselling and the Objectivity Challenge

Most people tend to be compassionate. Perhaps it is a human evolutionary trait, or simply the manner in which we have been trained to understand and act upon our emotions. Or it could stem from the need to help others in order to achieve a sense of belonging. In modern society - represented by large conglomerates of human beings living collectively - people have daily opportunities to help others,... »