The Danish research- anddevelopment project on chatcounselling
Trine Natasja SindahlMSc in Psychology, CopenhagenUniversity.Work at the Danish child helpline:BørneTelefonen, since 2007.Supervision and method development.Worked with anonymous counsellingservices since 1995.Part-time lecturer at CopenhagenUniversity – Department ofPsychology. Teach how to develop andevaluate social interventions.
Todays presentation • Main findings from the Danish research- and development programme on chat counselling • Small break • Questions and discussion • A peek at out text service (BørneTelefonen på SMS)
Main points 1. Counselling for children and youth should be offered in a variety of medias 2. General counselling skills are just as or even more important than media specific skills 3. We should not ask if our service is popular, but if it is useful
Brief about Børns Vilkår Founded 1977 300 volunteers educated in working with children 25.000 counselling sessions in 2011 45 employees Working for all children in Denmark; however, a strong focus on children at risk BørneTelefonen established in 1987
Research- and development programme on chat counselling, 2007-2011Research publications: Developing:• Literature review of international • A new software for conducting chat chat counselling research counselling• Article presenting an analysis of 15 • Increasing children’s access to chat chat counselling sessions counselling• Comparison study: chat and • The chat counselling methodology telephone counselling • A website for children that supports• Results and recommendation based the counselling on the method-development project • A training programme in chat• Children’s view of the Danish chat counselling counselling service• Children’s view on online help – Handbook in chat counselling
What I want to share with you …• Advantages and disadvantages • Developing alliance• The users • What works?
Why chat? • Choice • Feeling of control • Anonymity • Writing • Free • Silent • Independent of place • Can be combined with other online tools • - and it works!
Possibilities for the organisation• Peer-to-peer leaning• Live supervision• Transcripts• Dialogue with colleagues• Looking things up
Why not? • Simultaneous • Time consuming • Misunderstandings and conflicts • Disinhibition effect • Loose contact • Virtual identities • Difficult to make risk assessment • Digital divided • Technical problems!
Children and youth in chat counselling• Compared with telephone counselling we see – across countries – the same tendencies: – Even more girls – A little bit older (Child helplines) – Larger amount of serious and complex problems, neglected and violated children.
The typical user of a chat counselling service …• … is a girl• … in puberty• … with serious and complex problems• … who doesn’t want to be exposed• … and who prefer time and quietness to articulate how she feels
Working alliance • Presence – ”closeness via distance” • Control • Online Disinhibition effect – ”nobody’s shy in cyberspace”
Can it do harm? • Must not compromise the users wellbeing, rights or confidentiality • Must not contribute to lesser wellbeing or stand in the way of more effective help • Will it replace necessary help? • Will it contribute to development of dependency?
Effects of chat counselling • De Kindertelefoon, The Netherlands – Fukkink, R. & Hermanns, J. (2007): Children’s Experiences with the Kindertelefoon; Telephone Support Compared to Chat Support. SCO-Kohnstamm Instituut. • Kids HelpLine, Australia – King, R., Bambling, M., Reid, W. & Thomas, I. (2006b): “Telephone and online counselling for young people: A naturalistic comparison of session outcome, session impact and therapeutic alliance”. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research vol. 6(3) Sep 2006, pp. 175-181. • SAHAR, Israel – Barak, A. & Bloch, N. (2006): “Factors related to perceived helpfulness in supporting highly distressed individuals through an online support chat”. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 9(1), 60- 68. • BRIS, Sweden – Andersson, K. & Osvaldsson, K. (2011): Utvärdering av BRIS Internetbaserede stödkontakter. Executive summary. Linköpings universitet. • Børns Vilkår, Denmark
1. I feel better/worse2. I was (not) taken seriously3. We (did not) talk about, what I wanted to talk about4. I (don’t) have a better overview of my problem5. I (don’t) know what to do now
When the child gets a Phase better overview of its 3 problems When the child gets an idea of what to do What works?When the child hastalked about what it When the child iswanted to talk about Phase 4 taken seriously
Conclusions • Be present on several medias • Chat counselling offers a useful way of getting in contact with children at risk • Chat counselling works
Why a texting service too?”I think there are many that are too shy to talk to an adult, they don’t know –texting is easier””Then your mother can’t see it if you share a computer”“Uou can write even if you are not at home – if you are sitting outside… or just lyingin bed … you don’t have to start up the computer.””you can take it with you on your mobile””A lot of times I wanted to contact you during school hours or something like that –I will be able to do that on text””…it’s very smart – you can write when you are in class without disturbing theclass”
Developing the service• Our counselling methodology should dictate the system – not vice versa• However we wanted to utilize the advantages off this specific media• We worked hard to get the number 116 111 – and succeeded!• We stand on the shoulders of giants
I think it sounds very interesting, but mythombs hurts so much when I text