|Author(s)||Jessica Harris, Susan Danby, Carly W. Butler, Michael Emmison|
|Title||Extending client-centered support: counselors' proposals to shift from e-mail to telephone counseling|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, ethnomethodology, e-mail counseling, young people, online counseling, helplines, modality shifts|
|Journal||Text & Talk|
The availability and use of online counseling approaches has increased rapidly over the last decade. While research has suggested a range of potential affordances and limitations of online counseling modalities, very few studies have offered detailed examinations of how counselors and clients manage asynchronous e-mail counseling exchanges. In this paper we examine e-mail exchanges involving clients and counselors through Kids Helpline, a national Australian counseling service that offers free online, e-mail, and telephone counseling for young people up to the age of 25. We employ tools from the traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis to analyze the ways in which counselors from Kids Helpline request that their clients call them, and hence change the modality of their counseling relationship, from e- mail to telephone counseling. This paper shows the counselors' three multilayered approaches in these e-mails as they negotiate the potentially delicate task of requesting and persuading a client to change the trajectory of their counseling relationship from text to talk without placing that relationship in jeopardy.