Date of Award

Spring 2007

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Loan T Phan


The purpose of this study was to compare key elements of a counseling session across both face-to-face sessions and sessions occurring over cyberspace via synchronous chat such as instant message or chat room. The key elements of a counseling session compared in this study included the interview environment, physical and psychological attending, interpreting verbal communication, and interpreting nonverbal communication. The results of this study, though not statistically significant, suggest that credentialed distance counselors perceive counseling via instant message to offer less opportunity to create a facilitating counseling environment, less opportunity for interpretation of nonverbal communication, and less opportunity for psychological attending to clients when compared to face-to-face counseling. Opportunity for interpreting verbal communication, and providing physical attention were perceived to improve during counseling sessions conducted via instant message as compared to face-to-face counseling.