Call for Papers – British Journal of Guidance and Counselling: Online Practice Symposium

Edited by Stephen Goss and Tristram Hooley

Online delivery of careers education and guidance, counselling, psychotherapy and other mental health and social services has been a subject of increasing debate.

Some have raised legitimate concerns about a perceived loss of the human element and reductive conceptions of what guidance and mental health services do – sometimes with a heavy focus on “information provision” as an alternative to live interaction. At the other end of the spectrum, advocates of technologically mediated provision talk of how online environments empower clients, democratise practice, allow guidance and therapeutic relationships to transcend time and space and bring distinct advantages not available in face to face settings.

This symposium will provide an opportunity to examine these issues through the lenses of both empirical and theoretical enquiries into the nature of online practice.

The symposium will use the term “online practice” to explore the idea of how guidance, counselling and practitioners in other mental health and social care services utilise online environments to communicate with clients. It will explore how technology both constrains and enables the practitioner and allows the development of new forms of practice.

This symposium will look at the impact of the online environment on the practice of guidance, counselling, psychotherapy and related services. We are particularly interested in receiving proposals for academic articles that will examine:

  • models of e-counselling and e-guidance practice
  • the use of social media (sometimes referred to as Web 2.0)
  • the role of mobile technologies
  • how online gaming can support practice in counselling and guidance
  • competencies, training and supervision in online guidance and counselling
  • the interface between online practice in guidance and counselling and conventional/face-to-face delivery (and blended technologies)
  • the ethics of online practice
  • the challenges of the digital divide and inequalities in digital literacy
  • the research agenda in online guidance and counselling.

Proposals on papers on other topics relevant to any form of online practice are also invited. The items above should be seen as indicative, not an exhaustive list of topics.

Alongside the symposium the editors are organising a one-day meeting on e-guidance and e-counselling to be held in October 2013. Authors who are thinking of contributing to the symposium are encouraged to attend and contribute to the meeting.

Proposals for articles for the symposium and/or live event should be sent to Tristram Hooley (if related to guidance and careers) at or to Stephen Goss (if related to counselling, psychotherapy or other aspects of mental health provision) at Proposals should include the title, an abstract of no more than 500 words and list of authors, including contact details for the corresponding author and should be submitted by July 2013. Full papers will be requested for submission up to January 2014 but should be submitted earlier, when possible, in agreement with the symposium editors.



  1. Dear all

    I am Robert Cassar, from Malta (Europe) and currently reading for a Masters in Career Guidance at Napier Edinburgh University. I am focusing my dissertation on E- Guidance. My main area of Interest is career blogging. I am slowly drafting up a literature review. I would be very Interested in any data or publications in this area of study and will gladly contribute to this symposium.

  2. Hi Tristram and Stephen, you are possibly aware that the Career Development Association of Australia’s 2013 National Conference to be held in May focuses heavily on this topic. I have been conducting research on ‘online career counselling’ in Australia over the past decade, receiving a grant for research undertaken in 2003, and will be presenting my findings on a recent survey at the CDAA conference. We share many of the same concerns. I would love to submit a paper following this and would be delighted to travel to the UK in October, should I be invited.

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