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Could Turn2Me online counselling help you? are funded by the HSE to provide free online counselling

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

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Online counselling is becoming more popular, and many find that it is useful for receiving support for a wide range of difficulties. 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?

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

  • Can be accessed from home or a private area within work, college etc
  • Works on your mobile device
  • 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.

How to sign up to

Accessing online counselling at requires registration as members on the Turn2Me website. 

Members availing of online counselling will have to confirm that:

  • They are not in any immediate risk of harming themselves.
  • 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.
  • Information on previous a mental health diagnosis, if any, and any previous counselling you may have had.

How much does it cost?

The online counselling service is free to residents of the Republic of Ireland. 

If you are outside the Republic of Ireland, there may be a fee depending on the service you want.


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 11th2016
Last updated July 10th2018
Tags counselling mental health anxiety depression
Can this be improved? Contact if you have any suggestions for this article.

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