The articles that were shared in our e-coaching community this month referred to the use of web-based written communication in therapy and coaching. The benefits of written communication according to these articles may be summarized as:
- Flexibility: the client can write whenever a thought occurs and wherever may be convenient for the client (article “What is e-coaching and how could it help me?“)
- Saving time: “20 min emails can cover the same ground as an hour´s conversation” (article “What is e-coaching and how could it help me?“)
- Wider reach and alleviation of geographic barriers (article “From Snail Mail to Email to Private Conversations: Could online counseling become clients´preference?”)
- Reflection: this benefit refers particularly to the asynchronous mode of written communication, which is considered to enhance clients´ reflection between sessions (article”Question frameworks: A powerful tool in the coach´s toolbox”)
In addition, pre-determined written questions or tasks are considered by practitioners and researchers to be valuable:
- Pre-determined question frameworks build practitioners´ confidence and enable them to maintain an overview of the coaching process (article “Question frameworks: A powerful tool in the coach´s toolbox”)
- Pre-determined written tasks have been found efffective in online psychotherapy: A research report with the title “Psychotherapy via internet as good as if not better than face-to-face consultations” was shared in our community this month. The report describes an experiment that was conducted by the University of Zurich (2013) and compared face-to-face with online text-based psychotherapy (the latter involved a pre-determined written task per therapy unit). A sample of 62 patients were randomly assigned to one of two conditions and the findings demonstrated that online therapy can be an effective mode of psychotherapy.