A descriptive study of e-counsellor attitudes, ethics, and practice

Jerry Finn, Azy Barak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to examine questions related to the process, perceived outcomes, and ethics of therapists who provide counselling and therapy online. Method: An online survey was conducted (N = 93) with identified e-counsellors with at least a Master's Degree. Questions included demographic information and Likert-type scales related to extent of practice, theoretical orientation, training and supervision, attitudes about appropriate practice, referral, legal and ethical issues, practice difficulties, and therapist satisfaction. Results: Overall, e-counsellors are satisfied with their practice and believe it is effective. They generally do not have formal training or supervision in online practice. Current e-counselling appears to be a part-time, supplemental practice with little overlap to FTF practice. There was little agreement among respondents on attitudes, practice, ethical issues, and knowledge of regulations related to e-counselling. Discussion: Lack of consensus about ethical obligations and practice suggest the need for formal training in e-counselling by professional programmes and international cooperation in formulating practice ethics. Areas for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-277
Number of pages10
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • E-counselling
  • Etherapy
  • Internet
  • Online counseling
  • Psychotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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