What does this course involve and who is it for?

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 view every page and 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.

  • What if I am still in training? This CPD is not designed for counsellors and psychotherapists in training (who have not completed their initial qualifying training), but it is recognised that students in placement settings may have been asked to work with clients online. Students should consult with their training institute in the first instance to see if they are supporting online working. It is additionally recommended that students and their supervisors should carefully consider both the potential risks and benefits to clients in offering online counselling during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • What if I want to work with new clients? This course aims to support counsellors and psychotherapists to work safely and effectively with existing clients, where there is already an established therapeutic relationship and a clear assessment of risk. This recognises the differences and potential challenges in establishing therapy relationships online, and in assessing and managing risk online. Counsellors and psychotherapists who choose to take on new clients during the coronavirus pandemic should carefully consider the potential risks and benefits for those clients, as well as their suitability for online therapy.

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.