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Projetc: Therapy 2.0


The goal is to help and support young people through online counseling and therapy services.

Eleven European experts met at the Medicine Faculty, University of Rijeka, Croatia, to discuss under what conditions online tools can be used for counseling and therapy of young people . This meeting developed some of the goals of the European Therapy 2.0 project, namely to help reach young people who need advice or therapy more easily. Smartphones and the Internet offer new opportunities for communication to young people being considered in this project. 

To date, counseling and therapy are conducted primarily at meetings and face-to-face sessions. Although this approach has satisfactory results in adults, especially those over 50 years of age, there is a risk that this approach will not reach all young people who need this kind of services - namely digital natives, who includes smartphones and social networks like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Skype, which are used as an adjunct to oral communication. Those who want to reach these young people will have to be able to deal with this type of non-face-to-face communication online, being faced with many practical issues, such as data protection and trust, and ethical issues. 
The Therapy 2.0 project, funded by the European ERASMUS + program, aims to characterize therapy and counseling practices in seven European countries, i.e. whether therapists and counselors working with this population already offer online counseling and what their experience with this type of modality. Currently, guidelines and tools are being developed to learn about best practices in order to explore the possibilities and requirements of online therapy. The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Rijeka is considered as one of the most experienced partners, because online therapy already play an important role in counseling and therapy in Croatia. That's why the Therapy 2.0 partners traveled to Rijeka for a meeting experts to learn about Croatian experiences and to reflect on best practices."Experiences in counseling and online therapy are very different across Europe," says Artemisa R. Dores of the School of Health (ESS) of P.PORTO, who represents Portugal as partner of the Therapy 2.0 project. There are countries like Slovenia or Croatia that have considerable experience in online counseling / therapy. In other countries, such as Germany or Austria, professionals prefer face-to-face consultations for counseling and therapy and are still in the process of developing the basis for online services. "The exchange between the various partners of the Therapy 2.0 project provides a learning opportunity with the different realities of each country and the development of adaptations and improvements to national strategies," says Karin Drda-Kühn. By the summer of 2018, the Therapy 2.0 team will present a tool with examples of good practice in European countries as well as in some countries such as Australia and Canada. This material will be accompanied by guidelines / recommendations on how to deploy youth online services more effectively and a mobile application, making all of this material available to counselors and therapists.