(403) 678-2918

The Trident Foundation was established as a not-for-profit organisation in 1998. This organisation aims to develop the lives of individuals, couples, families, and organisations across this province, nation and in international jurisdictions. The Trident Foundation provides opportunities for you to receive assistance face-to-face, through the telephone or over the Internet. The Trident Foundation offers, such services, as mediation, counseling and support. Supportive services that are also provided by the Trident Foundation include those linked to Commissioner for Oaths, conflict management, employee and family assistance, legal and qualitative research, rehabilitation, therapies: individual, couple and family, and tutoring.

The Trident Foundation offers a diverse set of service options that can be beneficial and provide you with:

  • Coverage Opportunities: insurance providers could cover The Trident Foundation’s services. You may have small or no out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Flexible Arrangements: The Trident Foundation works with you aiming for you to have convenient scheduling to meet your work or home obligations.
  • Short Wait List: Access to services through the telephone or the Internet is usually under 48 hours, if not on the same day.
  • Prevention Approaches: The Trident Foundation makes suggestions as to how manage your stress.
  • Short & Long Term Help: The Trident Foundation focuses on the core causes of your stress, not just the symptoms.
  • Webpages: These Webpages do not create any lawyer and client or counselor and client relationship.  These Webpages are not intended to provide legal advice and do not offer this. You should consult with a lawyer who is familiar with the issues and the laws of your country.

 

Online Counseling for the 21st Century

1. Definition

Online counseling is defined generally as counseling that occurs through the application of cyber technology (American Counseling Association, 2003, p. 3).

2. Relevant Technologies

Fenichel (2002, p. 1; 2000, p. 1) refers to the development of counseling through telephone, teleconferencing and the Internet. Online counseling may take place through chat rooms, electronic messager, video conferencing, email, or phone (Barak, 1999, p. 12; King & Moreggi, 1998, p. 3; Trims, 2003b, p. 1)

3. An Interdisciplinary Approach.

Professionals from a variety of backgrounds including psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, law, and education provide online counseling. (Barak, 1999, p. 1; Munro, 2002, p. 1; Rye & Rye, 2003,Suler, 2000, p. 1; Sterling, 2003, p. 1; Trims, 2003b, p.1). These professionals are from such countries as Canada, Australia, the United States and England.

3. Applications

Online counseling may assist mental health and law related professionals to help clients who live in remote areas or have limited time in which to avail themselves of face-to-face counseling (American Psychological Association, 2000, p. 1; Trims, 2003a, p. 1). Barak (1999, p. 10) suggests that some clients need online counseling because they are older, people with disabilities, have mobility problems and are uncomfortable with interpersonal communications. Online counseling is being offered to assist with problems associated with unemployment, grief, depression, abuse, addiction, adultery, anger, assertion, conflict management, eating disorders, family and couples related issues and stress (Barak, 1999, p. 5; Munro, 2002, p. 2; Rye & Rye, 2003, pp. 1 – 4).

4. Key Benefits

4.1 Fenichel (2000, p. 6) and the International Society for Mental Health Online (2003, p. 2) refer to the benefits of asynchronous communications for professionals to connect with clients almost at any time.

4.2 Professionals may be able to make direct contact with clients without the need to communicate through third parties and to leave messages on telephone answering machines. This can help to safeguard confidential and privileged communications between professionals and clients.

4.3 Professionals will usually have time to draft and to reflect upon their written communications to clients.

4.4 Through written communications professionals are likely to have an electronic database of case materials that may assist with information management. This can assist professionals to develop Court related reports.

4.5 Online counseling can assist professionals to help clients who may be concerned about being involved in face-to-face counseling.

4.6 The International Society for Mental Health Online (2003, p. 1) and Grohol (2001, p. 1) indicate that some clients may not be unable to access assistance other than through online counseling.

5. Key Challenges

5.1 Barak (1999, p. 17) suggests that a lack of standards for online counseling may allow unqualified and poorly qualified individuals to promote therapeutic services. This may cause harm to clients.

5.2 There is a lack of face-to-face communication to develop rapport in therapeutic relationships.

5.3 Professionals may not be able to assess the appearance, emotional state and identity of offenders. This lack of information may lead to challenges associated with developing integrated risk assessments.

5.4 Some clients may find it challenging to communicate their feelings and to negotiate therapeutic boundaries in writing (Barak, 1999, p. 11; Fenichel, 2000, p. 7; Suler, 2000,p.1).

5.5 The American Counseling Organisation (1999, p. 12) suggests that counselors may face challenges in maintaining the complete confidentiality of messages generated through computer-mediated communication.

5.6 Not all clients will benefit from online counseling and individuals in extreme emotional states should seek face-to-face support as soon as reasonably possible (Fenichel, 2002, p. 2; Munro, 2002, p. 1 & Sterling, 2003, p. 2). Citations to the literature for this article are available upon request.

Please contact Director Jen Geary (PhD, BSW, MSW, MDED, MED, MA [Psychology]), Master of Social Policy, LLB.) for assistance!