- Slides: 5
Case Study 3
Simulated Case Study 3 Asynchronous online support where a client seeks to engage in counselling with an independent online practitioner Case Study 3 presents Annie, who is 20 years old. She is single and is employed by a local estate agent. She mentions in her email that she is interested in online counselling as she doesn’t have time to arrange faceto-face appointments with a local counsellor. Annie mentions that she would like to explore issues relating to her relationships and difficulty in making friends. Annie states that she is a regular chatroom visitor and the few friends she has are all based upon online encounters and interactions. The online counsellor decides to proceed in offering appointments with the client following two exchanges of emails where a client contract is negotiated and agreed.
An extract from Annie’s first therapeutic counselling email exchange Hi Trudy, I felt it would be helpful to talk about my relationships, or lack of them! I’m feeling a bit apprehensive talking about it as this is the first time I’ve felt able to approach the subject with anyone. It’s easier like this as I can’t see you or know how you respond to what I’m saying. I’ve never really been interested in boys and I remember once when a guy tried to kiss me, that I felt nothing afterwards. The thought of having a sexual relationship with any one makes me feel really anxious and uncomfortable. I went to the cinema with the brother of a close friend a few months back and the whole time I was worried in case he tried to hold my hand or anything. I feel very embarrassed talking about this as I’m 20 years old for god’s sake!!!!! I couldn’t talk with friends about it as they see me as being cool and okay. They don’t know that I’ve never had a relationship. I’m thinking that I might be gay, but I’m not sure. I haven’t really got anything to base this on, so it feels really confusing…… Annie
Points to consider When reading the initial email from the, client what are you thoughts regarding: • The possible rationale behind the client seeking online counselling as opposed to face counselling. • The underlying issues which may prevent the client feeling confident within face-to-face encounters and her decision in seeking counselling with an online counsellor. • How might you respond to the client which would help her feel at ease with the issues she wishes to discuss within counselling? • The online counsellor engages in a further two exchanges with the client where Annie begins to feel a little more comfortable in exploring issues relating to her sexuality and friendship difficulties. The relationship between the counsellor and the client has developed well and the counsellor has a sense that if Annie was prepared to consider alternating online counselling with face-to-face appointments this might assist in the client being more comfortable generally in developing friendships with peers. The counsellor holds a strong sense that by seeking online counselling the client may be reinforcing her difficulties with confidence and engaging with others in a face-to-face context. • Contd on next slide
Points to consider (continued) • The appropriateness of the counsellor suggesting to the client that she consider alternating online sessions with face-to-face counselling at her practice • The potential implications for the client outcome if the client and counsellor remain engaged in online sessions, or if they were to move to a combination of face-to-face and online sessions. • The impact upon the current relationship if client and counsellor were to supplement face-to-face meetings with online sessions. • The benefits/disadvantages to the client if she was prepared to engage with the counsellor in face-to-face sessions.