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Relationship variables in online versus face-to-face counseling

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4 Author(s)
Cui Li-xia ; Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition and Department of Psychology, Capital, Normal University, Beijing, 100048 ; Liu Ya-nan ; Lei Li ; Tan Sheng

The study examined relational variables in face-to-face versus online counseling to explore how initial relationships between a counselor and a client differed from face-to-face and online communication. The participants were 42 undergraduates who acted to come to Students Counseling Center for help for the first time. Five graduates of clinical psychology acted as their counselors. The counselors of the two groups were same. Participants were told to fill out several pencil-and-paper measures on the completion of their interaction such as satisfaction, genuiness, positive regard, self-disclose and the depth of processing, mainly about relationship variables. The findings indicated that the face-to-face group felt more satisfied with the experience and experienced a higher degree of genuiness with their partner. There were no significant differences between groups in regard to the level of empathy, positive regard, self-disclose and the depth of processing. The implications for online counseling are discussed.

Published in:

2010 IEEE 2nd Symposium on Web Society

Date of Conference:

16-17 Aug. 2010