Momentum continues with counselling in virtual worlds

This post appeared earlier this week over at Metaverse Health.

It’s coming up to a year since we interviewed DeeAnna Nagel and Kate Anthony and discussed counselling in online environments broadly and in virtual environments more specifically. Over that time, the Online Therapy Institute has continued to grow. One example of this is the announcement of a five-hour course on online supervision.

Anyone who works in a counselling role will understand the importance of supervision as both a development and protective mechanism for a practitioner, let alone one working in an online environment. Additionally, a key plank of more widespread acceptance of online therapy is formalised governance mechanisms that provide peace of mind in regards to quality. Small steps like the ones taken here are helping to achieve just that.

The wider challenge is establishing e-health standards that ensure confidentiality, the ability to confirm practitioner credentials and good service navigation for face-to-face intervention when required. That sort of integration is potentially years off, but in the meantime counselling professionals are doing a great job of filling in the gaps.

If you’re involved in counselling in a virtual world environment, I’d love to hear from you to find out more about your work.

Update: an interview with the Online Therapy Institute in Second Life is now available:

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