Video counselling and psychotherapy: A critical commentary on the evidence base

Smith, Kate; Moller, Naomi; Cooper, Mick; Gabriel, Lynne; Roddy, Jeannette and Sheehy, Robert (2021). Video counselling and psychotherapy: A critical commentary on the evidence base. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12436

Abstract

Pre-pandemic research has suggested that video counselling is as effective as face-to-face practice. However, the mass migration of therapy to the online video domain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic makes it essential to interrogate the evidence base. This paper provides a critical commentary on how video therapy is defined/labelled, the current evidence about whether video therapy is effective, and whether the working alliance and therapeutic relationship functions differently in video counselling. The paper concludes that while the evidence to date is promising, it is limited in quantity and applicability and hence generalisability. Lack of evidence is not evidence that video therapy is ineffective, but the large gaps in understanding highlight the importance, both ethically and empirically, of further research in this area.

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