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Online counselling

Why not try a free session with

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health

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Research suggests that online counselling can be just as effective as working with someone face-to-face. However, it may not be suitable for everyone and is not intended for those who are at immediate risk of harming themselves.

What are the advantages of Online Counselling?

Online counselling is becoming more popular, and many find that it is useful for receiving support for a wide range of difficulties. Due to the privacy afforded by being able to access counselling from home, it eliminates any stigma that may be connected to seeing a counsellor/psychotherapist face to face.  

Some people find the writing involved in instant chat text-based sessions can be therapeutic in itself. This content can be looked at later on to reflect over and process the issues discussed in the counselling session.

Online Counselling: 

  • Can be accessed from home or a private area within work, college etc
  • Works on all mobile devices, smartphones including iPhones and Android phones
  • Is offered by fully trained and accredited professionals Counsellors/Psychotherapists/Psychologists/CBT Therapists
  • Is more affordable than many face-to-face options
  • Is convenient for many people who don’t have access to local services
  • Is convenient for people who may have a physical impairment that restricts their mobility
  • Allows clients to access services without fear of perceived stigma
  • Is secure and confidentiality is maintained throughout

When is Online Counselling not suitable

Online Counselling may not be suitable if you:

  • Are currently at risk of seriously harming yourself
  • Experience severe or enduring anxiety or depression
  • Experience mental health difficulties which may require more intensive support such as personality disorders, eating disorders, psychosis, etc
  • If your difficulties involve a substance abuse problem
  • If you have experienced childhood or severe adult trauma

It is suggested than longer-term therapy may be more beneficial for such issues.

What methods of online counselling are available?

Secure Online Chat

Sessions take place in a secure online chat room. A chat room is a web page with a window that shows the typed conversation you have with your counsellor, with both your and the counsellor’s statements listed as they are written. This way, you can have a two-way, real-time conversation with the counsellor. Like face-to-face counselling, the sessions are 50 minutes in duration.

Therapeutic E-Mail

This form of online counselling is conducted by secure email, either once-off or on an ongoing basis. E-mail counselling may be suitable when clients are unable to commit to regular weekly sessions or if time to consider content and responses is preferable to the client.

Video Counselling

Video Counselling is carried out using private password protected Google Hangouts that only client and counsellor can access. Video sessions are not recorded or stored.

Eligibility and Requirements?

Accessing Online Counselling at requires registration as members on the Turn2me website. When applying for Online Counselling Sessions with Turn2me, please insert SpunOut to indicate 'where you heard about Turn2me' in the application form.

Members availing of online counselling will have to confirm that:

  • They are not in any immediate risk of harming themselves. Online counselling is not best suited for those who may be at immediate risk. Anyone who is at risk will be encouraged and supported to access appropriate services in their locality. Turn2me also runs daily Online Support Groups, some of which are themed around suicidal thoughts and feelings and all are free to attend. Members remain anonymous while in Online Support Group, only identifiable by their Turn2me username.
  • They are not currently engaged in psychological therapy elsewhere. This requirement is intended to avoid ‘mixed messages’ with ongoing therapeutic work.
  • They are at least 18 years of age.
  • On application for Online Counselling Members will be asked to provide contact information, diagnosis (if any), medication (if any), emergency contact information, previous counselling (if any). Completion and Submission of the Client Information and Consent form means you are giving consent to entering into a therapeutic relationship with a Turn2me Counsellor.
  • Email communication will be used to arrange sessions and provide support and guidance on how to setup and use chat – email will not, however, be used as a further form of therapeutic support. Your work with your therapist, for instance, will not be discussed through email.
  • Members will be asked to complete a series of progress measures, when free sessions are offered. This is to help us not only in tracking client progress over time but also to assist in the evaluation of our services. You can complete these shortly before your first session, after your fourth, and when you finish your sessions. Clients are not identified in their questionnaires and their anonymity is secure.

How much does it cost?

Online Counselling for Irish residents (over 18) registered with is FREE.


All information provided, along with session chat transcripts, remains confidential and is stored securely in keeping with Counsellors’ Professional Codes of Ethics, Data Protection Policy and our Online Counselling Policy.

Eight sessions are provided and clients may choose to have more or less sessions, following initial assessment. Sessions take place on a weekly, recurring basis by arrangement with your assigned counsellor.

Making the most of the sessions

Counselling has a much greater chance of success if you truly engages with the process. As counselling is provided once a week you will be encouraged to commit to attending their weekly sessions.

If you are unable to attend scheduled sessions, notify your counsellor in advance so that vacant session slots can be re-assigned to someone else who needs support.

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Published February 11th, 2016
Last updated February 26th, 2016
Tags counselling mental health anxiety depression
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Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

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