(403) 678-2918

Emotional pressure can be a natural part of our lives. From time to time, that pressure may develop into stress that you may feel to be unbearable. This can be due to a gradual build up of tensions or perhaps a sudden unexpected incident. To reach such a situation and stage is not an indication of weakness, but rather a natural consequence of life’s events.

The dictionary definition of “counseling” covers:

  • interviewing
  • guiding
  • helping
  • supporting
  • exploring
  • problem solving
  • suggesting
  • advising
  • empathizing
  • communicating

There are many forms of counseling that are guided by a number of accepted theories. The Trident Foundation provides telephone, online or face-to-face counseling to assist participants who may be isolated, both in terms of time and space.

Counseling support for individuals, couples and their families who are involved, for example, with stressful jobs, such as in emergency services, the military, justice or the health fields is not always readily available, and may only be accessible in the form of short-term therapy. “Problems in living” can be, for example, both chronic and stressful. Personal, social and spiritual practices are often instrumental in reducing the impact of distress upon individuals (Steed & Downing, 1998). Counseling is available from beautiful Canmore through the not-for-profit organisation the Trident Foundation. Mountains such as those in the Rocky Mountains around Canmore can be a place of healing and personal growth!

Counsellors are apt to testify in different kinds of situations, such as, those linked to family and criminal cases. The Director of the Trident Foundation has been instructed in such areas as counseling, education and the law and can be flexible to meet pressing and complex situations. The Trident Foundation offers counseling on the telephone, and both on and offline.

The Trident Foundation is well informed about theories in counseling. In practice, The Trident Foundation strives to provide an ambience, which will enable clients and staff to jointly explore the problems and concerns troubling service recipients at this time in their lives.

Please contact The Trident Foundation, and it is anticipated that you will communicate confidentially with a friendly and concerned professional. The Trident Foundation often assists you to address your problems and concerns.

The Trident Foundation can provide counseling in the following areas:

  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  • Anger Management
  • Corrections
  • Education
  • Family Violence
  • Grief and Loss
  • Marital
  • Other
  • Parenting
  • Professional Development
  • Rehabilitation
  • Separation
  • Trauma/critical incident debriefing

The Trident Foundation is committed to providing a quality support service to assist individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities to achieve their maximum desired potential.


 Is Online Counseling A Fad? Online Counseling with Offenders

It is the position of the writer that online counseling with offenders may be a potential new service approach that could assist some offenders in particular situations. There is a growing body of literature on online counseling and its relationship to personal and social development. Some professionals have argued that online counseling is a fad amongst those counselors and clients who look for a quick-fix solution to personal and social problems experienced by service recipients.

The concept of online counseling has captured the attention of the American Counseling Association and the American Psychological Association. While interest in and use of the concept has increased, a critical review and synthesis of the literature on online counseling does not currently exist. Such an integrative review together with field research will serve to “shed light” on the methodological approaches, and implications of online practices with offenders in the criminal justice system.

1. Online Counseling

Cambridge Strategies Inc. (2003) indicates that offender rehabilitation may involve counseling, further education and training. Developments with Internet based technologies could give rise to new approaches that may transcend geographical location and time. The writer’s background in distance education and clinical practice suggests to her that the virtual presence of the counselor may be brought about through online counseling (Jenkins, Price & Straker, 2002). This is not to underestimate the effectiveness of face-to-face counseling (Fenichel, 2002). Offenders who are transitioning from prison to the community may experience challenges associated with anxiety, isolation and maladaptive lifestyles and they may be in need of counseling services.

2. Caveats

Online counselling could cause harm to offenders and may contribute to them relapsing. Fenichel (2002, p. 2) suggests that online counseling may not be appropriate for offenders who experience “extreme psychopathology”. Munro (2002) and Sterling (2003) suggest that offenders who are suicidal should contact suicide crisis centres. Fenichel (2002) and Suler (2000) refer to other disadvantages of online counseling as including lack of face-to-face communication.

3. Professionals

Macdonald (1999, p. 35, 103, 171, 174) mentions that professionals can be altruistic and become “public spirited”. Biestek (1957) and James & Gilliland (2000) refer to the significance of the mutual relationship between the person seeking assistance and the professional. Online counseling may be a means of building a relationship between counselors and offenders. In some situations online counseling could escalate inequities in power between counselors and offenders. Online counselors should be competent to assist offenders in part by lessening power imbalances.
Vickers (1995) suggests that competency is associated with the balancing of training, qualifications, professional status, adequacy of intervention, understanding, aptitudes, values and judgments. The American Counseling Association (1999) suggests that a competent online counselor is likely to advise offenders that the confidentiality of their electronic communications may not be safeguarded and that there are lawful limits to their confidentiality. Counselors will advise offenders of other risks, benefits and processes that may be involved in online counseling (International Society for Mental Health Online, 2003). Offenders will ideally then be in a position to be able to make informed decisions as to whether or not to continue with online counseling.
Professionals may constitute a ruling class that maintains the position of the powerful in our society (Smith, 1998). Professionals such as those related to law, health, education, universities, sociology and the Church may give rise to institutionalized ways of knowing (Norton, 2002; Shawver, 1999; Smith, 1998). Health and law are two institutions amongst many that may impact upon professionals who work with offenders in the criminal justice system. “Institutional” practices might include a complex set of relationships that are constitutive of the ruling class (Smith, 1998, pp. 160-202). These relationships may be organized around a particular social function such as health, law or education (Tobey, 1998). Institutional practices could be shaped through such elements as ideology, everyday processes, systems of classification and broader theories about society.

4. Offenders

Institutional practices may create barriers for counselors and other mental health professionals who assist offenders. In work with offenders’ counselors may face many challenges. Offenders may be reluctant to enter into treatment even if they are able to access therapeutic programs (King, 1995; Siegmund, 2003). In work with offenders it is important to adjust interventions and treatments, such as online counseling to address the level of risk the offender is to herself and/or others. Offenders with special needs, such as those with, may require programs and services that meet their particular needs such as group work, self-help networks, individual counseling and peer support (Fischer-Bloom, 1995).

Due to the relatively low number of women who are imprisoned in comparison to men, psychological and human service practice and informed risk assessment with these offenders is still developing (McLean 1995; Siegmund, 2003). Offenders may well experience difficulties with emotional and mental health problems and may be particularly prone to depression and self-injurious behaviours (McLean, 1995). This and a lack of treatment, could lead to problems for offenders, when they attempt to adjust to life outside the prison. Before entering into online counseling with offenders, it is important to undertake a risk assessment. The language that practitioners use and diagnostic and risk assessment tools, which are based upon male populations, may be of limited value in work with women offenders and particularly Aboriginal women offenders (McLean, 1995).

Online counseling seems to be a useful new approach with some offenders in particular situations. These circumstances could include instances where offenders may not have access to counseling other than that which occurs online. Online counselling could supplement face-to-face sessions and be a means to encourage offenders to ultimately seek out face-to-face counseling services (Fenichel, 2002). The International Society for Mental Health Online (2003) and Grohol (2001) suggest that some offenders may be unable to access assistance other than through online counseling. The role of on-line counseling as a potential new approach to assist professionals in their work with offenders, in the criminal justice system, is currently unknown.

5. References

  • American Counseling Association (1999). ACA Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. USA: American Counseling Association.
  • American Psychological Association (2003). Ethics APA statement on services by telephone, teleconferencing and Internet. USA: American Psychological Association.
  • Cambridge Strategies Inc. (2003). A Single Trial Court as a Focus for Reform and a Catalyst for Change. Edmonton: Alberta Justice.
  • Barak, A. (1999). Psychological Applications on the Internet: A Discipline on the Threshold of a New Millennium. Applied and Preventive Psychology. 8, 231-246.
  • Fenichel, M. (2002). The On-line Clinical Case Study Group of the International Society for Mental Health On-line. A Report from the Millennium Group. USA: Fenichel.com.
  • Fisher-Bloom, E. (1995). The Impact of Learning Disabilities on Correctional Treatment, Offender Treatability, 7 (3) Canada: Forum on Corrections Research.
  • Grohol, J. (2001). Best Practices of Etherapy. Clarifying the Definition of e-therapy. US: PsychCentral.com.
  • International Society for Mental Health On-line (2003). Suggested Principles for the On-line Provision of Mental Health Services.
  • James, R. & Gilliland, B. (2001). Crisis Intervention Strategies (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.
  • Jenkins, S., Price, C.J. & Straker, L. (1998). Developing a research question. The Researching Therapist: A Practical Guide to Planning, Performing and Communicating Research. New York:
  • Churchill Livingstone, 21-26.
  • King, M.C. (1995). Foreward. T.A. Leis, L.LKing, M.C. (1995). Foreword. T.A. Leis, L.L. Motiuk and J.R.P. Ogloff (Ed.), Forensic Psychology Policy and Practice in Corrections. Ottawa:
  • Correctional Service of Canada.
  • Macdonald, K. (1999). The Sociology of the Professions. (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
  • McLean, H. (1995). Psychological Assessment of Women Offenders. T.A. Leis, L.L. Motiuk and J.R.P. Ogloff (Ed.), Forensic Psychology Policy and Practice in Corrections. Ottawa: Correctional
  • Service of Canada.
  • Munro, K. (2002). On-line Therapy Resources. Canada: KaliMunro.com.
  • Shawver, L. (1999). Dictionary for this study of the Works of Michel Foucault. California: Rathbone.
  • Siegmund, R. (2003). Corrections programs hitting women hard. On-line Pioneer. Ontario: On-line Pioneer.
  • Smith, D.E. (1998). The Everyday World as Problematic. A Feminist Sociology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Sterling, R. (2003). All About On-line Counselling. Seattle: Wapsychiatry.com.
  • Suler, J. (2000). Hypothesis about On-line Psychotherapy and Clinical Work. Lawrenceville, NJ: Rider University.
  • Tobey, R.C. (1998). Michel Foucault’s Interpretive Analytics. California: University of California.
  • Vickers, A. (1995). Critical Appraisal: How to read a clinical research paper. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 13, 158-166.

6. Further Reading

Examples of further reading include:

  • Barak, A. (1999). Psychological Applications on the Internet: A Discipline on the Threshold of a New Millennium. Applied and Preventive Psychology. 8, 231-246.
  • King, S. A & Moreggi, D. (1998). Internet therapy and self help groups – the pros and cons. J. Gackenbach (Ed.), Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Transpersonal
  • Implications. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 77-109.
  • Rye, J. & Rye, N. (2003). The Problems People Raise. Norfolk: eDotCounsellor.
  • Trims, L. (2003). Profile. Queensland: Proactive Coaching.net.

 

 

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Phone: 403-678-2918
Email: info@tridentfoundation.net

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