Certificate in Applied Counselling Studies Specializing in e-Counselling
What is e-Counselling?
The practice of online or e-counselling, refers to mental health services delivered via the internet: email, chat, text, telephone, video conferencing, and film. Due to the public's ease with accessing online services, this trend has become a preferred method of counselling across Canada.
Traditional, face-to-face therapists transitioning to an online practice, may need additional training to build the competencies required for e-counselling.
KCPC offers three courses specific to telephone therapy, online therapy, and cinema therapy. Each course is designed to integrate the counsellor's therapeutic approach, with ethical, legal, and clinical skills related to the specified type of online practice.
- Each course is offered online.
- Professional counsellors, therapists, and post-diploma graduates enrolled in individual courses earn continuing education credits.
- Students who meet pre-requisite requirements and complete all three e-counselling courses will earn a Specialized Certificate in e-Counselling.
E-Counselling course Electives:
- Introduction to Online Therapy (six weeks in length)
- Introduction to Teletherapy (three weeks in length)
- Introduction to Cinematherapy (three weeks in length)
E-counselling Courses in a nutshell:
Introduction to Online Counselling, I&II (IOC-400)
The IOC course focuses on communication through email, chat, or text, which allows more time for both the client and the therapist to reflect on thoughts and feelings.
Topics: Overview of current research on the use and effectiveness of counseling online, to include data on the idiosyncrasies of online behavior and communication. Practical aspects, theory, skills, and required competencies for counseling online are discussed at length, along with related technology, ethics, legal, multicultural issues, assessment and treatment strategies for all phases of the therapy process for entry-level to advanced practitioners.. Ideas on how to set up an online counselling practice are also addressed.
Skills: Students incorporate basic counselling skills based on their face-to-face counselling style into a series of online email sessions covering the counselling process from assessment through to termination. Outcome measures are introduced to test the efficacy of the online counselling sessions. The result is a unique counselling approach that reflects the student’s training, personality, values, and therapeutic modality. Students also learn how to set up an online practice and design case management forms.
Introduction to Teletherapy (ITT-400)
Teletherapy, (sometimes referred to as telephone, or TeleMental counselling) takes place through an electronic medium involving telephone and/or video transmission. To ensure the same quality of therapy as face-to-face sessions, Tele therapists are expected to demonstrate competency in basic counselling skills.
Topics: Introduction to Teletherapy (ITT-400) provides students the opportunity to modify and integrate their face-to-face counselling style to accommodate idiosyncrasies of telephonic and video sessions. The result is a unique counselling approach, (applicable to an entry-level scope of practice), that reflects the student’s training, personality, values, and therapeutic modality. Information is also provided on how to set up and operate a Teletherapy practice.
Skills: Students demonstrate competency in tele counselling skills by conducting telephone practice sessions that encompass all phases of the counselling process from assessment through to termination. Outcome measures are introduced to test the efficacy of the teletherapy process.
Students also design case management forms, and learn how to set up and operate a teletherapy practice.
Introduction to Cinematherapy (ITC-400)
Cinematherapy, (also referred to as Video-therapy), is a specialized counselling process in which therapists assign specifically selected movies, which depict core issue related to the client’s presenting concerns. Clients are instructed to view the film as "homework" between sessions, and come prepared to process their responses to the movie with the therapist in future sessions. Films are used as the medium to unlock unconscious, emotional, and/or cognitive roadblocks that can inhibit therapeutic change. Cinematherapy can be conducted online, telephonically, or in face to face sessions .
Topics: Cinematherapy incorporates an integrated skill set required to treat mild to moderate mental health issues. The four-step treatment program assesses and processes clients’ responses to contemporary films related to their presenting concerns. Online, telephone, or f2f sessions are for individuals, couples, youth, workshops, and counselling groups.
Skills: Students learn how to select therapeutically appropriate films; help clients process their reactions to characters and events in the film; and work to resolve issues related to disruptive emotions, thoughts, family dynamics, life patterns, and other symptoms depicted in the film. Outcome measures and needs assessments are introduced to test the efficacy of the cinematherapy process.
Learning Objectives for the e-counselling elective courses include the following skill set:
- Incorporate ethics and legal requirements into best practices for online, teletherapy, and cinematherapy.
- Assess client’s level of functioning, risk for suicide, homicide, or self-harm within an e-counselling context, and make referrals as necessary,
- Assess for entry-level scope of practice and make appropriate referrals as needed.
- Use of outcome measures to determine progress and efficacy of the therapeutic process; and readiness for termination.
- Use of appropriate technology to protect client confidentiality and privacy when using online delivery of services.
- Use of ‘self’, personality, insights, perceptions, and judgments to strengthen therapeutic alliance and efficacy of the online treatment process.
- Integrate the benefits of supervision into growth as a practitioner.
- Recognize and resolve personal and professional challenges involved in building an online or teletherapy practice.
- Design forms and develop the business structure for use in an online, telephone, or video counselling practice.
- Deliver informed consent and build a therapeutic alliance within the telephone, online, and video context.
- Assess client’s readiness for e-counselling, teletherapy, or cinematherapy
- Develop goals and treatment plan based on techniques appropriate for use in online, telephone and cinematherapy.
- Identify and prioritize issues from the online or telephone intake questionnaire.
- Incorporate reflective listening into telephone, video, email, chat, text and online sessions.
- Deepen online, telephone, and video sessions using specialized counselling techniques
- Close telephone, video or online sessions with validation and non-threatening homework to maintain continuity for next session.
- Preview and select appropriate films to address the client’s presenting issues.
- Facilitate discussion of the characters and events in the film using counselling skills such as advanced empathy, active listening, exploratory questioning, empty chair techniques, role playing, art therapy, and guided imagery.
- Identify irrational beliefs, family dynamics, maladaptive life patterns, addiction and other symptoms depicted in the film that relate to clients’ presenting problem.
- Develop outcome measures to test the efficacy of the online, teletherapy, and cinematherapy process.
- Apply the Online, Teletherapy, or Cinematherapy model to a wide variety of complaints in well-functioning clients who present with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal conflicts, damaged self-esteem, unresolved losses, maladaptive behaviors, and addictions.
- Recognize personal issues, attitudes and beliefs that may be triggered as you view the films connected with Cinematherapy sessions. These and other professional/personal issues to be addressed in supervision.
In addition, students gain valuable experience and networking opportunities in the context of a supervised, volunteer placement or employment setting.
Skills learned in the elective courses may be applicable to entry-level employment as a counselor in a variety of mental health settings such as:
- Consulting with private businesses
- Outpatient mental health clinics
- Home support services
- Women’s shelters and centers
- Crisis line.
- Victim’s assistance outreach teams.
- Substance abuse treatment facilities.
- Outpatient hospital counselling services.
- Pastoral and faith-based counselling.
- First Nations wellness centers.
- Support services for parents, children and youth.
- Private practice (under supervision of an experienced clinician).
- Counselling in public agencies for recipients of financial assistance and social services.
- Counselling services in post-secondary schools.
- Human resource departments in private business and public agencies.
- Career planning/ employment agencies.
NOTE: Specialized training from an accredited program is advised for counsellors who intend to offer online, telephone, and/or cinema therapy. In order to obtain liability insurance, and apply for designation through professional associations, or regulatory colleges, entry level counsellors are required to practice under supervision for the first two years following graduation.
Counsellors residing in Canada who are members of a professional association or regulatory college, are permitted to provide the types of mental health services that fall within their scope of training and ethical standards.
The specialized courses in e-Counselling offered through KCPC conform to ethical guidelines and competency standards established by the Ministry of Advanced Education in BC; the Competency Profile for Counselling Therapists; the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association, (CPCA); Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists, (ACCT); and the Canadian College of Professional Counsellors and Psychotherapists (CCPCP).