This continuing professional development (CPD) course has been jointly developed by The Open University (OU) and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as a response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The aim of the course is to offer a primer on working online as a counsellor or psychotherapist at a time when face-to-face therapy is neither possible nor safe. Course completion will boost your knowledge and confidence, and will support counsellors and psychotherapists to offer technology-based counselling safely and effectively.
In the following video Fiona Ballantine-Dykes, Deputy CEO and Chief Professional Standards Officer of BACP, talks about why BACP has worked with the OU to produce this CPD unit.
What are your key reasons for taking this course? Are there things about doing counselling online that you are particularly worried about? Or are looking forward to?
Record your answer in the space below.
Throughout this course you will be asked to write activity answers and reflections in the spaces below. Anything you write here will be saved and will be available to you if you return to this page of the course at a later date. It will be visible only to you, and will not be shared with anyone else.
What does this course involve? This course should take around six hours to complete (depending on the individual learner). The course is a combination of reading material, watching videos and listening to podcasts, and doing activities. At the end of the course is a quiz that assesses your learning.
What do I get for passing this course? If you score 70% or higher in the quiz at the end of the course, you’ll be awarded with a statement of participation and a digital badge:
Badges are a means of digitally recognising certain skills and achievements acquired through informal study. They are a useful means of demonstrating participation and recognising informal learning.
The statement of participation will demonstrate your commitment to your ongoing continuing professional development.
Who is this course for? This course is aimed at trained (registered/accredited) counsellors and psychotherapists who are transferring their work with existing clients online.
Is this course just for BACP members? Not at all. The course can be accessed by anyone who feels that it would be helpful. It does align to BACP’s competences for telephone and e-counselling (BACP, 2016a) and existing best practice, but the content will be useful to anyone new to working therapeutically online.
Does completing this course mean that I am ‘competent’ to provide online therapy after the coronavirus pandemic is over? No. According to BACP’s Telephone and E-counselling Training Curriculum (BACP, 2016b), competence can only be claimed after completing sufficient training: this might include written coursework, skills assessments and online working with clients that is supervised by a supervisor with experience and training in working online. This course is a primer that supports counsellors and psychotherapists to work online in the context of the coronavirus and can be used, alongside other online resources and CPD, to form a basic toolbox of skills and knowledge as an interim measure.
By the end of this course you will:
You should now move on to Topic 1: Technology and me.