I developed an interest in online counselling when working with adolescents who have a parent with cancer or whose parent died from cancer. The organization I was employed with had started an online counselling service for these young people across Australia. Despite an initial excitement for the opportunity to new creative endeavours in the way I was conducting therapy, I felt ill prepared to embark in such an adventure. I had confidence in my skills as a therapist. Nevertheless I was truly aware that the therapeutic use of technology was going to be a challenge.
And so it was! Do I regret taking the plunge? Definitely not, but it certainly paved the way for new interests and directions in my career and so came the search for an online counselling course to develop my skills in this area. The ultimate dream in my new path is to reach out to people who have no access to face to face counselling because of isolation, illness, disability or caring for someone.
I embarked on the course a couple of months ago with lots of anticipation, excitement and some degree of angst. I had to quieten the “what ifs” J. Despite being challenged with time, I am enjoying every aspect of the course so far. It is practical, well-structured, balanced with a variety of exercises aiming at familiarising you with technology, the World Wide Web, social media and the different internet functions for mental health practitioners. I am still in Module 1 and am confident that the course is the answer to all my questions in regards to online counselling.
Upon reading some of the posts in the forum, I realize we are all in the same boat and experiencing similar fears and anxiety. I have appreciated the candid comments of my fellow online students. It makes me feel less isolated and part of a wide forum of people with keen interests. It is so encouraging, inspiring and stimulating J
I am starting to experience the potential of the internet in the lives of people with mental health issues. Visiting the Mental Health Forum and witnessing to some of the journeys was certainly humbling and an eye opener in terms of the level of camaraderie, support and empathy people were offering each other…….a true community in a world where the people who are the most marginalised in society can find solace. I felt touched by the journeys, the trials, the small victories and the abundance of care.
The experience has given me even more determination to push ahead with my desired goals.