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1 Technology and me

1 Technology and me

Before you learn more about technology-based counselling, it is useful to reflect on your own attitudes, experiences and practices related to digital technology.

There has always been a debate around the use of technology in counselling and psychotherapy (Weitz, 2014; Russel, 2015). Practitioners can have strong views and concerns about the quality of online provision and the range of ethical, legal and technological issues in online counselling practice (which will be covered in this course). Where you personally stand in the debate around technology-based counselling might be influenced by your own personal relationship with, and experience of, digital technology.

Activity 2: Technology word cloud

Timing: Allow approximately 5 minutes
By signing in and enrolling on this course you can view and complete all activities within the course, track your progress in My OpenLearn Create. and when you have completed a course, you can download and print a free Statement of Participation - which you can use to demonstrate your learning.

When you have chosen your word, post it anonymously in the course word cloud. (You might want to open this in a new tab or window.)

Pause for reflection

Once you have posted your word, look at what other users have posted. Are there similarities in the responses regarding the potential and challenges of online counselling?

1.1 Digital visitor or digital resident?

What do digital technology and communicating with smartphones or other devices mean to you?

Digital literacy is influenced by factors such as your personal interests and motivations, or any job requirements you may have.

It will certainly be influenced by your experiences. The level of your digital literacy partly depends on when you were born: are you a digital visitor or a digital resident?

(Note that ‘digital visitor’ and ‘digital resident’ (JISC, 2014; OCLC Research, 2020) are preferred to the broadly equivalent earlier terms, ‘digital immigrant’ and ‘digital native’ (Buckingham, 2013), which you may be familiar with. These latter two terms were coined in 2001 by Marc Prensky and are now contested – even by Prensky himself – and so are no longer used (Wikipedia, 2020).)

Activity 3 will give you a clearer idea of how you use and appropriate digital technologies in your everyday life.

Activity 3: Use of digital communication technologies

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

How did you use digital technology before the corona crisis?

Open this survey in a new tab or window and then return to this course once you’ve completed it.

This is an anonymous vote. Once you have answered the survey, you will be able to see the collective responses of other people on the course.

Pause for reflection

Were you surprised by the results? What do you make of your use of digital technology in your everyday life? Based on this, how confident are you about employing digital technology and devices for your therapeutic work with clients?

Even if you do not feel overly confident now, by the end of studying this primer course you will hopefully feel supported in offering online counselling safely and effectively when face-to-face work is not possible. In the next section you will learn more about the key ethical, technological, legal, clinical and practical issues involved in therapeutic working online.

You should now move on to Topic 2: Technological, legal, ethical and practical considerations.