eCOUNSELLING AND THERAPEUTIC INTERACTIONS WITH DIGITAL NATIVES

eCounselling and Therapeutic Interactions with Digital Natives

Up to now most activities concerning counselling and therapy with ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) have been limited to applications of personal computers for emails and internet tools. Counsellors and therapists still rely almost exclusively on traditional interaction with their clients (“the couch”). Due to this, especially the younger generation and “digital natives” may not be reached to the full extent, as they have a fundamentally different communication behaviour.

The various Web 2.0 communication tools (like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, etc.) have become a daily extension, or complement, of the target groups’ oral communication. Therefore, any counselling and therapy for the younger population that seeks to be successful should eventually include eCounselling – meaning ICT based activities between the expert and the client/patient.

The goal of the Therapy 2.0 project is not only to raise awareness of the potentials of ICT based approaches in therapeutic and counselling processes, but also to provide a practical guide to the different ways of how technology can be used, best practice examples, and a mobile application for smartphones.

The concrete and tangible results can be incorporated into practice immediately. They will go far beyond e-mail and internet chat and support practitioners tremendously and counterbalance the lack of full visual or audible communication. Thus the Therapy 2.0 project will ensure that clients / patients receive the message of the therapy without any negative side-effects due to the technical means of communication.

For more information please have a look at our project information brochure.

Tools for reaching young refugees

Such an approach is also needed in the current refugee crisis, where Therapy 2.0 tools will enable counsellors to reach completely new target groups, i.e. young and / or unaccompanied refugee minors. Most of them, specifically young women, have experienced traumatic situations and many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder in various degrees. Their most important means of communication are smartphones. Given the fact that their language level of the host country language is often still poor, conventional “speech counselling” needs either interpreters – which can be daunting – or a complementary approach that uses the media, where these young people already feel at home.