Client Perspectives on Single Session Chat-Based Individual Online Counseling among Undergraduates
Keywords:Chat-based online counseling, Undergraduate student, Qualitative study
Background: With the increasing availability of the internet as a counseling resource, there is a growing amount of literature related to both synchronous and asynchronous online interventions. This study aimed to examine perspectives of undergraduate students who personally experienced a single session of synchronous chat-based online counseling.
Methods: There were 71 undergraduate students in psychology participating in a single-session chat-based individual online counseling based on the Existential-Humanistic approach which emphasises clients’ self-awareness and personal growth. The students’ self-reflection journal on their experience with some quotations from the session were collected. Data was analyzed using phenomenological thematic analysis.
Results: Findings revealed four main themes. The first theme examined the advantageous and disadvantageous characteristics of online counseling. The second theme related to the factors that interfere with the counseling process. The third theme was about the effectiveness of online counselors. The final theme related to the outcomes of what students got from the service.Conclusion: This study suggests that with appropriate conditions in place, a single session chat-based online counseling service may show promise for providing a practical and therapeutic alternative or adjunctive resource to face-to-face counseling for undergraduates that have some adjustment difficulties. Further research could explore how these technological advancements can be used to reach and empower potential clients with diverse psychological concerns and needs.