Simona STEFAN1* & Daniel DAVID1, 2
1Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
2 Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
The current study aims to compare two psychological counseling delivery types – face-to-face versus videoconferencing – in terms of efficacy (i.e., reducing distress and the level of irrational beliefs) and perceived quality of the working alliance. Participants (N = 56) were offered a 50-minute counseling session following the guidelines of Rational and Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT). They were randomly assigned into the two experimental conditions: face-to-face counseling and online counseling conducted through an advanced video-conference system, namely the EON Holopodium™, which had not been previously tested in therapeutic settings. Results show that no significant differences emerged between the two conditions, suggesting that face-to-face and videoconference counseling are equally effective in reducing distress and irrational beliefs, and that counseling delivery type does not significantly impact the perceived quality of the working alliance.
Keywords: psychological counseling, videoconferencing, working alliance