Cybervision: Virtual peer group counselling supervision — Hindrance or help?

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This study explored the use of text-based computer-mediated communication in counsellor supervision. ‘Cybervision' is an innovative collaboration between counsellors and computer technology. The study reports on the use of clinical case presentation by e-mail and the discussion of cases in text-based chat rooms. The inquiry, conducted from a qualitative research perspective, seeks to explore the potential effectiveness of Cybervision along with its advantages and disadvantages. Prior to each supervision session, the supervisee presented case concerns by e-mail and later received 60 minutes supervision from the remaining three group members adopting the role of supervisor. As a form of co-operative inquiry, the personal experience of research participants was investigated and reported, highlighting key themes and issues relating to the absence of face-to-face contact. In all cases, participants reported that Cybervision effectively influenced and informed the clinical practice of the counsellor. Participants quickly and successfully formed a meaningful group where support, challenge and feedback were expressed and valued. The ‘disinhibition' effect of on-line contact was found to support open and honest communication. Feelings were communicated in this environment with surprising ease. The consistent emergence of useful parallel processes was another significant finding.

Keywords: Cybervision; Internet; parallel process; peer supervision; supervision

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Kinharvie, 49 Dowanhill Street, Partick, Glasgow, G11 5HB, Scotland

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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