Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
01 230 35 36

Launch [27/02/24]

The IACP Launches Working Therapeutically Online:  Practice Guidelines and Competencies  

For Immediate Release: 

27th February 2024 

The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy today announced the availability of a new resource, Working Therapeutically Online: Practice Guidelines and Competencies for IACP counsellors, psychotherapists, and supervisors who provide therapeutic and/or supervisory services using technology. 

The comprehensive guidelines are now available at for download and provide a detailed framework for therapists and supervisors engaging in online therapeutic work, covering various competencies, legal considerations, and practical guidance. It underscores the importance of adhering to ethical principles, ensuring client suitability for online therapy, establishing clear contracts, maintaining confidentiality, and navigating technological, legal, and jurisdictional issues. 

“The dynamic nature of contemporary psychological therapies necessitates ongoing adaptation and refinement, and these guidelines serve as a beacon guiding us towards effective and ethical online therapeutic practices,” said Séamus Sheedy, IACP Cathaoirleach at today’s official online launch event. 

Cathaoirleach Sheedy further added, “The utilisation of online platforms for delivering counselling and psychotherapy has witnessed a remarkable surge across various theoretical orientations. Research in this field consistently underscores the efficacy and accessibility of online therapy, with many clients reporting significant benefits from this mode of delivery. The convenience and flexibility afforded by online therapy have rendered it an invaluable resource, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, where it has emerged as a cornerstone of mental health support.” 

As technology is evolving at a very fast pace, the guidelines emphasise the need for continuous professional development, including specialised training in online therapy, understanding the nuances of working across borders, ensuring GDPR compliance, and preparing for emergency scenarios. It highlights the significance of proper risk assessment, especially concerning minors, couples, families, and groups, while emphasising informed consent and meticulous documentation. The guidelines are primarily intended for practitioners, they are equally relevant to anyone, including service managers. 

“The IACP strives to excel in providing professional standards and supports for our members, in order to deliver safe and effective counselling and psychotherapy. These guidelines and competencies will be invaluable to therapists when working online with clients and will provide support and direction in developing skills for practising online,” said Lisa Molloy, IACP’s Chief Executive Officer, at this morning’s member and stakeholder event.  

“The guidelines stress the significance of self-care for practitioners, supervisory requirements, and the ongoing need to stay updated with evolving technology and emerging research in the field, delivering a structured approach to ensure safe and effective online therapeutic practices, while adapting to the changing landscape of digital therapy,” concluded Ms Molloy. 

The IACP thanks its many members for their feedback in drafting the guidelines and competencies and Mental Health Reform for its support of the project. A special note of appreciation to IACP members Mike Hackett and Brian Holohan, who dedicated their time and expertise to the project. Their voluntary contributions exemplify the spirit of collaboration and commitment within our IACP community. 

The IACP Working Therapeutically Online: Practice Guidelines and Competencies outlines several key competencies including clinical, professional, technological, and legal necessary for therapists and supervisors engaged in online therapeutic practices, it also covers, training, supervision, and specific considerations for online therapy. 

Notes to the Editor:  

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the IACP Communications Department at Nicole Mac Dermott - 087 720 6033 or Wayne Tobin - 089 214 2276  

About: The IACP was established in 1981 to identify, develop and maintain professional standards of excellence in counselling and psychotherapy. Our work promotes best practice and the development of the profession. The IACP represents more than 5,800 members based in communities all over the country and is the largest counselling and psychotherapy association in Ireland. For more information, please visit


© Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

| Therapist Directory Terms | Event Booking Terms | Payment Terms | - IACP, First Floor, Marina House, 11-13 Clarence Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin Tel. 00 353 1 2303536


This website uses strictly necessary session cookies only. Session cookies are requred to ensure members can access the members area and associated functions reliably. Session cookies expire automatically upon exit.