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Telephone counselling

Updated on March 11, 2014

Telephone counselling has been in existence for about 15 years (Rosenfield 1997). Telephone counselling takes place all over the world and has been increasing rapidly. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) defines telephone counselling as “…an explicitly contracted, on-going relationship between one therapist and one client conducted at specific prearranged times over the telephone” (Payne et al., 2006, p.2). This type of counselling is an accessible form of personal help that has a vital role in a community’s health and welfare (Bobevski, Holgate and McLennan, 1997) by providing a variety of helpful services, either through giving information or crisis intervention.

Telephone counselling services

Telephone counselling services’ are often developed and available to respond to individuals who have particular needs, through addressing a specific issue (Sangha, Dircks and Langlois, 2003). These individuals include those who are at a high risk of committing suicide, alcohol or drug addicts, smokers, HIV and cancer patients, those suffering from sexual abuse, and so on. However, there are also services responding to a variety of issues that are available to the general public. Consequently, there are three types of services offering telephone counselling: 24-hour services offering counselling to the community in general, services that offer counselling for specific matters, and services that provide health and welfare counselling (Bobevski et al 1997). There are, therefore, a number of personal, professional, and organisational advantages to this type of counselling; however, there are some disadvantages to this type of counselling.


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