Choosing a Platform for Online Counselling

Posted by: Brian Dosenberger on February 10, 2012 9:00 am

There are several factors to consider when deciding which web conferencing to use for online counselling.  Today I want to highlight I will focus on choosing a web-conferencing platform that fits how you practice counselling. As someone that practices both traditional and online counselling I want to ensure the web conferencing platform I choose allows me to offer my clients online the same, or as close to the same experience as I would give a client in my own office.

Choose a platform that allows you to perform counselling in the same manner as you would in a traditional face to face session.

In order to effectively perform online counselling I need the ability to perform counselling in the same manner that I conduct an in person session. For example, if you are a therapist that utilizes a white board, illustrate psycho-educational material, draws diagrams, or gives homework assignments then you want to choose a platform that allows you to perform those tasks.

Start by taking an inventory of the resources that you use to conduct counselling sessions over the span of 1 or 2 weeks. There will be different resources that you use in counselling depression, anxiety, relationships, and so on. If you exclusively use talk therapy and do not use any other resources finding a platform that fits your needs will be easy.  Have a look at your list of resources and determine which current web conferencing service can meet your needs. It would be easy to simply choose a platform that met the basic need of face to face online communication but do you really want, and can you afford to settle with basic needs when it comes to your counselling practice? If you chose not to settle for the minimum and want to continue to utilize several resources when you perform counselling online, then find a platform that meets your needs.

Ask not what the technology can do for you, rather what you need the technology to do for you.

The following link compares popular web-conferencing services (

The opinions expressed in this blog were my own and do not represent the opinions of CCPA.

Brian Dosenberger,

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

6 comments on “Choosing a Platform for Online Counselling”

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  2. Natalia says:

    I have been using 2 platforms for 2 years: and OnCall Health.
    1. is easy-to-join for patients. Disadvantages: does not allow to make a schedule and has poor quality of video and audio signals yet unstable connection (frequent technical issues). Too expensive compare to the services provided and their quality.
    2. OnCall Health: scheduling is included so I can track all sessions past and future. Good quality of both video and audio signals; works even if the internet is poor on the patient’s end. Disadvantages: difficult to join for the patient with low computer literacy (creating an account, remembering a password, etc. – difficult for anxious and depressed patients). That is why I still keep subscription. Also, OnCall Health does not allow to send psych tests to the patient despite this feature was announced long time ago. OnCall Health tech support team is not very helpful, may ignore the inquiry for a long time.

  3. Matt says:

    I talked with OnCall Health a few months ago, I think they were to expensive for me. I think they wanted almost $100/mnth.

    Owl practice was interesting and it seemed setup well for practitioners.

    ClinicAid is also Canadian. They are setup primarily for billing to insurance companies, but you can use their service for free and utilize their system as a client database storage. There is an option to keep casenotes for each session under the clients name.

  4. Judi Oakes says:

    I have the same issue – I am looking for a Canadian site to help me… Judi

    1. I have just signed up for a trial month with OnCall Health which is Canadian. I also use Owl Practice and trying to decide if either is the best for me as I would like something that would eliminate the need for two.

  5. Marcey says:

    Hi There, Sadly when I use the link to check out the comparisons it asks for an American Zip Code. It won’t function with a Canadian Postal Code

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