E-mail Counseling: Skills for Maximum Impact
an article by: Kate Collie, Dan Mitchell, and Lawrence Murphy

2001 – ERIC Digest

In July and August of 1999, Kate Collie (KC) conducted an interview with Dan Mitchell (DM) and Lawrence Murphy (LM) on the topic of online counseling skills. The interview was done by e-mail so DM and LM could simultaneously describe and demonstrate skills they use in their e-mail counseling practice.
All three authors have been involved in the development of online counseling. DM and LM began an e-mail counseling and therapy practice in 1995 (Murphy & Mitchell, 1998) and are among the few people who have both practiced online counseling and published on the subject. KC has been involved in the collaborative development of computer-supported distance art therapy (Collie & Cubranic, 1999), an art-based form of online counseling that uses synchronous speech communication and shareable hand-drawn computer art.
The skills DM and LM have developed for asynchronous text-only communication are relevant to many types of distance therapeutic communication. The interview excerpt that follows contains a discussion of these skills. Continued…


You may also want to take a look at more research by
Kate Collie

University of British Columbia kcollie@interchange.ubc.ca


Computer images made during Internet Art Therapy test sessions at the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada.

Since 1998, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada has been developing software and clinical procedures for conducting real-time art therapy via the Internet. The software makes it possible for an art therapist in one location to have real-time group or individual art therapy sessions with clients in other locations, communicating with speech and sharable hand-drawn images. The goal is to expand the reach of art therapy to include clients who otherwise would not have access to art therapy, for example clients with mobility limitations and clients in remote areas.


Collie, K., Čubranić, D., & Long, B. (2002). Audiographic Communication for Distance Counselling: A Feasibility Study. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 30(3), 269-284.

Collie, K., & Čubranić, D. (1999). An Art Therapy Solution to a Telehealth Problem. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 16(4), 186-193.

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