What features make text-based counseling effective?



Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, March 10, 2020–A fascinating new study has shown that the duration of a text-based counseling session, the length of the counselor’s messages, and quick response time by the counselor are important factors in determining the impact of counseling. The study of young people under the age of 23 who relied on a dialogue-based, human-handled child hotline is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Click here to read the full-text article free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website through April 10, 2020.

The article entitled “Texting at a Child Helpline: How Text Volume, Session Length and Duration, Response Latency, and Waiting Time Are Associated with Counseling Impact” was coauthored by Trine Sindahl, University of Copenhagen and Willemijn van Dolen, University of Amsterdam Business School. The researchers concluded that even though there is no face-to-face interaction, the clients might benefit from the texting as long as the counselor responds promptly and in long, dense, expressive messages. The number of messages exchanged is not as important as the total length of the texting session.

The researchers found an overall positive effect of the counseling immediately after a session and two weeks later. Counseling impact was based on the client’s experience of being heard, changes in well-being, and empowerment.

“The latest statistics indicate that 24 million children and young people reach out to helplines. By offering access through different modalities, including chat and text, individuals can now choose to discuss their emotions using the technology with which they feel most comfortable,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.


About the Journal

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with Open Access options and in print that explores the psychological and social issues surrounding the Internet and interactive technologies. Complete tables of contents and a sample issue may be viewed on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Games for Health Journal, Telemedicine and e-Health, and Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 90 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Media Contact
Kathryn Ryan
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