One objective of the Therapy 2.0 project is to give an insight into the international state of e-counselling and e-therapy services. For this purpose the project consortium carried out a collection of good practice examples. As a result 48 best practice examples from Europe and beyond are now presented on the Therapy 2.0 platform.
As a first step 100 cases from 25 European and 5 non-European countries were identified. The project partners used a template where topics, target groups and types of good practice were identified. Multiple selections were possible, so the results in the single sections do not add up to 100%.
Some of the results are:
In most of the examples the target group of the service are adults (84%). Only 40% explicitly address (also) children or adolescents. Less than 20% of the offers are designed for parents, couples, therapists/counsellors and health experts each.
The topics addressed are various. More than half of the services offer general counselling or therapy independent of specific topics. Approximately one third of the good practices explicitly refer to depression (33%) and anxiety (29%). Obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating problems, addiction and relationship problems show a rather low representation: Merely 5 to 8 % of the services address persons with those kinds of problems. Single cases refer to stress coping, burnout, sleeping problems, sexual violence and chronic diseases. Counselling referring to education and training as well as to job problems is offered in some cases, too.
Types of the online services were in the majority counselling (57%) and therapy (48%). Coaching, online training materials, information platforms and online communities are represented with fewer than 20 per cent each.
The different countries analysed showed no consistent focuses in terms of target groups, topics and service types. A significant range of high quality online services was found in Canada and Australia, a fact that possibly can be traced back to the low population density and the lack of face-to-face services in both countries. In some European countries, mainly in the United Kingdom, a considerably higher percentage of therapy services in comparison to counselling were detected. This result can presumably be seen against the background of specific legal regulations and health policies in the different countries. In Great Britain the National Health Service (NHS) partly bears the expenses for online therapy services whereas similar approaches do not yet exist in other European countries. In Scandinavia and the Baltic States a considerable number of counselling platforms address education and training, learning and vocational topics.
The 100 good practice cases were quality-checked by the project consortium. Quality criteria were aspects such as accessibility for the target group, transparency of the online service and ethical aspects. Furthermore, features of the providing organisations were taken into consideration: Qualification of the counsellors and therapists and theoretical approaches were as well incorporated as technical aspects, e.g. quality of the software, server security and user friendliness.
By means of a quality checklist the project partners reduced the available good practice cases to a number of 48 that were most convincing in terms of overall quality. These best practice examples are collected and described in detail on the Therapy 2.0 platform. Several search functionalities facilitate the selection of the examples.