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Research Institute

The Therapy Online Research Institute, established in 1998, exists to develop research projects, both internally and in collaboration with other institutions, that further our understanding of online counselling.

Current Research Projects

Some of our present research projects:

  • Ongoing research into applications of pedagogical principles to cybercounselling training
    • We continually evaluate our training programs. This information results in improvements in the training programs themselves and leads to academic publications. See for example our 2008 publication in collaboration with Professor MacFadden of U of T noted below.
  • Collaboration with Anishnawbe Health Toronto
    • In this project we seek to determine the utility and impact of online counselling with urban Indigenous populations. 
  • Upcoming Chapters
    • Lawrence Murphy has a chapter focusing on eCounselling in an upcoming clinical handbook from the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. 

Academic Publications

Fang, L., Bogo, M., Mishna, F., Murphy, L.J., Gibson, M.F., Griffiths, V.J., & Regehr, G. (2013). Development and initial evaluation of the cyber-counseling objective structured clinical examination (COSCE). Research on Social Work Practice, 23, 81-94. Download.

Murphy, L.J., Mitchell, D.L., & Hallett, R. (2011). A comparison of client characteristics in cyber and in-person counseling. in B.K. Widerhold et al. (Eds) Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine, Vol. 167, 149-153. Download.

Murphy, L.J., Parnass, P., Mitchell, D.L., O'Quinn, S. (2010). The emerging field of cybercounselling: Personal and professional reflections. Intervention, 132, 84-93. Download

Murphy, L.J., Parnass, P., Mitchell, D.L., Hallett, R.H., Cayley, P., & Seagram, S. (2009) Client satisfaction and outcome comparisons of online and face-to-face counselling methods. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 39, 627-640. Download

Murphy, L.J, & Mitchell, D.L. (2009) Overcoming the absence of tone and non-verbal elements of communication in text-based cybercounselling. In J.G. McDaniel (Ed) Advances in Information Technology and Communication in Health, Vol. 143, 215-219. IOS Press BV, Amsterdam. Download.

Murphy, L.J., MacFadden, R.J., & Mitchell, D.L. (2008) Cybercounseling online: The development of a University-based training program for e-mail counselling. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 26, 447-469. Download.

Mitchell, D. L. & Murphy, L. J. (2004) E-mail rules! Organizations and individuals creating ethical excellence in telemental-health. In J. Bloom & G. Walz (Eds.) Cybercounseling and Cyberlearning: An ENCORE. CAPS Press and American Counseling Association. Download.

Collie, K., Mitchell, D. L., & Murphy, L. J. (2000). E-mail Counseling: Skills for Maximum Impact. ERIC Digest.

Collie, K., Mitchell, D. & Murphy, L. (2000).  Skills for on-line counseling: Maximum impact at minimum bandwidth.  In J. W. Bloom & G. R.Walz (Eds.), Cybercounseling and cyberlearning: Strategies and resources for the millennium (pp. 219-236).  Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association and ERIC/CASS. Download.

Mitchell, D. L. & Murphy, L. M. (1998). Confronting the challenges of therapy online: A pilot project. Proceedings of the Seventh National and Fifth International Conference on Information Technology and Community Health; Victoria, Canada [On-line]. Download.

Murphy, L. J. & Mitchell, D. L. (1998). When writing helps to heal: e-mail as therapy. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 26 (1), 21-32. Download.

Newsletter Publications

Schell, D. (2010). Being there. Crosscurrents: The Journal of Addiction and Mental Health, 13 (2), 16-17. Download

Mitchell, D. L. & Murphy, L. J. (2002). Ethics, e-mail, and the counselling profession. Cognica: the Canadian Counselling Association's Newsletter, 34 (2), 10-14. Download.

Mitchell, D. L. & Murphy, L. J. (1998). The practice of therapy online. Cognica: the Canadian Counselling Association's Newsletter, 30 (2), 5-6.


Dawn Schell's blog

Lawrence wrote an article for a Career Counselling blog on text-based work!


Lawrence was recently interviewed by Marco Campana on his Technology in Human Services Podcast! Listen to the interview here. Or more recently here!

(The Technology in Human Services podcast brings you ideas, initiatives and individuals doing interesting and unique things with technology in their human service work. Join Marco on a journey to figure it all out!)


To learn more about the Therapy Online Research Institute or to inquire about possible collaborations please contact Lawrence Murphy.