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Level 1 Cybercounselling: Micro-Credentials

Winter 2023 registration is now open! Use the link below to register!


Paul Parnass, Lawrence Murphy and  Sue Allen
(meet the instructors)

"Cybercounselling - Level 1" is a three micro-credential course designed for experienced counselling practitioners who want to offer professional, ethical online counselling to their clients. We cover video, live text-chat and email-style counselling methods. Certificates are issued upon completion of each Micro-Credential.

Course Description

Participants will improve their online counselling skills and professionalism. The course is highly interactive and personal with a low student/teacher ratio. Online group and dyadic processes are used so that the entire course is a forum to practise online communication skills. Participants from around the world will study and discuss assigned readings, learn about and use video, secure e-mail and chat technology, practise a diverse range of therapeutic communication skills and tools, engage in role-play, and receive clinical feedback at the completion of each Micro-Credential.

The course employs a "practitioner-researcher" model and covers the three areas that are essential to the provision of professional, ethical, and effective online counselling services:

  • Enhancing the therapeutic alliance online
  • Ethical, practical and clinical issues
  • Technological knowledge and skills


Graduate degrees in the helping professions don't include courses in business and marketing. Despite the fact that 50% of professionals say they want to set up a private practice at some point in their careers.

Clients need to know you exist!

And you need to make sure you're marketing! But how?

Learn more about what we offer:

Email Lawrence Murphy

Each week we check in, review video and written lectures, engage in online activities, and review and comment on journal articles or other relevant materials. Some weeks employ role-play and small-group activities. The 12 weeks are broken into three 4-week Micro-Credentials:

    Micro-Credential 1 (Video): January 13 - February 9

  1. Course overview and introduction
  2. Online ethics
  3. Ethical and practical issues in video counselling
  4. Clinical activity: Video counselling roll play with clinical feedback

    Micro-Credential 2 (Chat): February 17 - March 16

  6. Clinical activity: Text-based counselling role-play
  7. Clinical activity: Pracitioner-Researcher analysis
  8. Ethical and practical issues in text-chat
  9. Clinical Activity: Live text-chat role play with clinical feedback

    Micro-Credential 3 (Enhanced Email): March 24 - April 20

  11. Clinical questioning techniques in text
  12. Enhancing the therapeutic alliance online
  13. Clinical activity: mock client with clinical feedback
  14. Self-Assessment and graduation

At the end of each Micro-Credential (after weeks 4, 8 and 12) personal clinical feedback is provided by the instructor.

Assignments are given on a weekly basis. Every Friday evening a new session will be activated by the course facilitator on our Online Learning Platform. Students review the lecture along with the course website section appropriate to that session and complete the assignments by the following Thursday.

Individuals complete their course work in an asynchronous manner. Because of this, participants can fit the course work into their individual schedules to complete each session's assignments within specified deadlines. Participants who have plans to travel while the course is underway will be able to continue their participation, as long as they have Internet access. The only exception is the Chat exercise during which you must be online at the same time as your partner to complete the activity (this comprises one hour of the total course).

The full course (i.e.: all 3 Micro-Credentials) lasts 14 weeks including 2 break weeks. The work load involves approximately three to five hours per week. Please carefully consider your ability to schedule these hours into each week.

Read the Orientation Document to learn more.

Learning Goals and Expected Outcomes:

Participants who complete the course will be able to

  1. Use encrypted email and live chat technology in professional counselling relationships
  2. Use online client registration and tracking tools
  3. Demonstrate, in simulated online counselling relationships, effective use of at least five counselling skills that are unique to text-only cyberspace
  4. Provide resolutions for at least three ethical issues that are unique to each of the three online counselling modalities
  5. Critique or comment on at least six practical considerations that are unique to the delivery of video counselling
  6. Explain to a simulated online client at least eight unique characteristics of online counselling (i.e., perform a client orientation to online counselling)
  7. Demonstrate, with a simulated client, the use of the practitioner-researcher approach to evaluating the online counselling process
  8. Evaluate their level of preparedness to deliver online counselling in his/her current counselling practice

Participant Feedback:

"It is an empowering and professional course that I would encourage all therapists to participate in."
- Phyllis, Ontario

"You [the instructors] were wonderful. The layout is clear and sequential. I found it a blessing to have such structure.... I appreciate the way that I can 'hear' your voice in your instructions."
- Victoria, China

"There is nothing that I can think of that I had hoped we would learn but didn't. I was most interested in learning clinical skills. I believe that I got that and much more."
- Peter, Ontario

"I really enjoyed the Cybercounselling course and have mentioned it each time I have spoken around Australia about my research. "
- Carole, Australia

Experiential Learning Activities:

Participants will

  • continually practise online communication and relationship building skills in their interactions with other participants and the instructors
  • provide online counselling via role-play in video, chat and email
  • use the PrivacEmail system, including many of its features, in their interactions with other participants and the instructors.
  • receive feedback from peers and instructors, as well as one-to-one eSupervisionTM

Course Prerequisites:

  • A Master's degree in counselling or a related field;
  • OR an equivalent combination of education and experience (Please email Lawrence or call him at 519-831-9141 to inquire about equivalency).
  • Comfort with, and extensive experience using a computer with at least the last 5 years using e-mail and the internet.
  • Membership in a professional association and adherence to their ethical code.

Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements:

Both Windows and Apple computers may be used. Dial-up Internet access is slow. High-speed access is recommended. For the use of Chat the computer you use must allow Secure Sockets.

Tuition fees for Level I

(all amounts in Canadian Dollars):

The total cost for the Level 1 training is $1287 (plus taxes as applicable). Fees may also be paid per Micro-Credential as the training progresses.

Micro-Credential 1 $429
Micro-Credential 2 $429
Micro-Credential 3 $429

Discounts may apply! See the payment form for details.

The Full Winter 2023 course will run January 13 to April 20

To review the Terms and Conditions and proceed to register click here.

For Questions please contact: Lawrence Murphy or call (519) 831-9141