Participant Information Sheet for Counsellors
Name of department: School of Psychological Sciences and Health
Title of the study: Experiences of relational depth in online therapy during covid-19.
My name is Sarah- Louise Watson and I am a final year psychology and counselling BSc (Hons) student at the University of Strathclyde. As part of my degree, I am undertaking research for my dissertation, supervised by Dr Steve Kelly, which aims to examine counsellor’s experiences of relational depth with clients when moving online due to covid-19.
What is the purpose of this research?
Previous research on face to face person-centred therapy, shows that relational depth facilitates the therapeutic relationship by allowing Intrapersonal presence, an open experience of the other, relational connectedness and a transcendent atmosphere (Leung, 2008, Malta, 2020). Therefore, for this study relational depth is defined as a state of profound contact and engagement between two people, where each person is fully real with the other, and able to understand and value the other’s experiences at a high level (Mearns & Cooper, 2018).
The current study aims to explore the extent to which experience of relational depth may have been impacted by any move from face to face to online therapy during covid-19 and to identify factors related to such a move that may inhibit or facilitate the counsellors' experience of relational depth in online video therapy.
Do you have to take part?
No, you do not have to take part in this research study. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time without reason. As data are held anonymously, data cannot be withdrawn once submitted.
What will you do in the project?
You will be invited to give some demographic details about yourself such as age, gender, ethnicity etc. You will be invited to complete two questionnaires exploring the experience of relational depth. These will ask questions related to face to face therapy before the outbreak of covid-19, and now when using an online platform. You will also be invited to respond to open-ended questions to further elaborate on your experiences of relational depth at these times. Participants will not be asked to disclose any information about their clients. The two questionnaires and open-ended questions will take 40 minutes in total to complete.
Why have you been invited to take part?
The study aims to recruit U.K based person-centred face to face therapists, aged 18-70, who were forced to move to online counselling during covid-19 and use video conferencing platforms. They should have completed at least three sessions of person-centred therapy via online video platforms before participating in the study.