Counselling Resource

Psychology, Philosophy & Real Life

Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor

Online Therapy Research

Would you like to help with a new study investigating the process of online therapy as it is experienced by clients?

Leon Fletcher-Tomenius, a doctoral student in Counselling Psychology at London Metropolitan University, is actively recruiting participants for a study investigating the processes involved in online therapy from the perspective of clients who have actually participated in online therapy. If you’ve used online therapy services yourself — either from this site or our new spin-off at MyTherapist.com, or from any other site — just check the details at the end of this post if you’d like to participate.

Long-time readers might remember that we published a look at the online therapy process a few years back (see “9 Observations About the Practice and Process of Online Therapy“), but notably this was from the perspective of an online therapist working in private practice. Few if any other individual practitioners have addressed the therapeutic process from the vantage point of actual clinical experience with such a large evidence base of client interactions, and precious little analysis of the online therapeutic process specifically from the vantage point of real clients has ever been made available.

(I have also personally provided data to other doctoral students who hoped to explore how online therapeutic relationships develop and work, but even with the hundreds of thousands of words of transcripts available from a set of my own clients who have given permission for their material to be used in research, it has proven challenging for the students to find sufficient data from other practitioners to craft a decent study. See and for some possible reasons why so little research has been reported.)

The paucity of significant research in this area means that the study by Fletcher-Tomenius promises to offer something really valuable to the field, potentially offering unique insights into the online therapeutic process that just cannot be obtained any other way.

If this study sounds like something you might like to get involved with, just check the requirements below and visit the online therapy research site for details on getting in touch with the researcher. The study has been reviewed by London Metropolitan University’s ethics panel and is being supervised by Dr Andreas Vossler and Dr Charlotte Brownlow, both based in the Psychology Department at the same university.

Inclusion criteria for participating in this online therapy research: 

  • Participants must have experience of being an online client with an accredited therapist.
  • Participants should have experienced five online sessions with their therapist.

Exclusion criteria for participating in this online therapy research:

  • Participants should not at the time of the research be in face to face or online therapy.
  • People who were expressing suicidal thoughts, or self harming behaviour at the time of their previous therapeutic contact will not be able to participate.
  • People who feel that talking about their experience of online therapy could arouse emotions they will find hard to cope with cannot participate.

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