Web Based Career Choice Counseling System

Web Based Career Choice Counseling System

Web based career choice counseling is the core feature which helps a student identify the career path he can follow to achieve his ambition in life via online. A lot of importance is attached to feature and the facilities provided to aid in the carrier counselling for the student i.e. online chat with the counselor, developing personality including mock interviews, aptitude tests to evaluate yourself.

Many students go for a career counseling session just after they have completed secondary school education are going to select their career zones. Considering the huge sea of career option that are available today, going for counseling session clears the student’s mind about different career options, the earning trend and work opportunities in different career sections. It also helps the student to run in a properly guided and directed career track. A career counselor must be trained and should have professional knowledge about the different career fields; he/she must have the ability to understand the student’s psychology and individual capabilities.
Career choice was created to provide affordable, practical and personalized counseling to individuals and organization in the process of dealing with the unique challenges of job searching

When one is undecided or confused about a career choice, then you might want to consider utilizing the services of a career counselor. There are several benefits one can get from career counseling; first and most obviously, a career counselor can help you gain knowledge about specific careers, the workplace and future marketing trends. Second, a career counselor can help you understand who you are and what you want out of life and career through helping you take a look at such things as your interests, skills, abilities, values and goals. Perhaps even more importantly, a career counselor can offer you the support you need as you make decisions about your life and your career and help you actually make the transition to a more satisfying lifestyle. (Deborah, 2001)

Statement of the Problem
Owing to the difficulties the young ones face when choosing their life career and the difficulties people face during learning.
• The vast scope of available career and the inability of some student to understand which course to study in the university.
• Lack of adequate knowledge on various career and improper orientation of selecting one’s career.
• It waste time of students and counselors

Aim and Objectives
The aim of this objective is to develop a web based career choice counseling system.
Objectives: the objectives include:
To develop a system that should be able to:
• Carry out a career survey (question and answer option for each career)
• Display the result of the survey in percentage
• To capture the attributes of each career category
• To Accept new career option as input.
• To test the students cognitive skills (IQ) and recommend a career for such student.

Significance/Justification of Study
With the growth in information, the study offers vital assistances to both students and people that find it difficult to choose a career. It will help young people not to depend on their parent to know about career choices. Time spent on educating students about choosing a career is reduced to a bare minimum as the software helps to facilitate the process of counseling.

Scope of the Study
Counseling as we know covers a wide area of activities ranging from therapy to practical advice, encouraging people during bereavement of loved one’s, trauma after battle or disaster , people living with serious illnesses, married couple, refugees etc. this project is narrowed down to web based Career Choice Counseling System for secondary schools.

Career Theory
According to Bower (2005) define career counseling as the process of helping the candidates to select a course of study that may help them to get in to job or mark them employable. A career counselor helps candidates to get in to a career that is suit to their aptitude, personality, interest and skills. By investing in a career counseling session, you’ll be able to learn which professions might be suitable and hopefully more interesting to you. There’s nothing worse than working at a job you don’t enjoy. Those who partake in career counseling sessions will first have to take an aptitude to test to see which profession is right for them. They may be surprise to learn that their original career counseling than placement tests, however. Career counselors critique resumes, suggest the best and most efficient methods of searching for employment, and help strengthen negotiation skill, assist in getting better salary and promotion packages generally steer you in the right direction. Since they have a reputation to protect; it’s in their interest to have a high customer satisfaction rate. Teenagers who participate in career counseling classes and workshop benefit the most. Not only will they learn which careers they are most suited for, but they will also learn which jobs pay the most and even which companies to avoid. Through career counseling they will learn about trends in different industries as well as projected future trends. Students, who are happy with their suggested career choice, and the required courses for that career, tend to do better in high school and college.

Counseling Software
It would seem that professional career counselors, job research specialists, and other such experts are clueless when it comes to navigating the software industry. Seasoned programmers, managers, recruiters each have their own personal experiences and limited opinions about doing so. The Internet is filled with all sorts of passionate amateurs and professionals willing to share their strong opinions about their own outlook. Common wisdom suggests investing a bit over 10 hours a week on personal after work projects in order to grow professionally. It says very little about finding the proper context to grow new skills and selecting the right opportunities. Where does this happen?

What sort of people would actually be qualified to help software professionals find their way and plan an adequate career path? How could a disenfranchised middle age developer, for instance, get some distance about this strangely impatient industry and get the kind of support it takes to make wise career decisions?
Computer-enhanced counseling programs offer exciting possibilities in this age of the Information Revolution. While technology continues to leap forward, research literature indicates a gap in resources addressing counselors’ computer-relevant needs (Alhassanr, 1999). One critical need is for information about counseling software that is appropriate to the needs of clients and that performs as advertised.

To begin to address this need, the Counseling Software Guide (Walz&Bleuer, 1989) was developed. The Guide is a collaborative product of two years and three organizations that continue to provide significant leadership in promoting the use of computers in counseling and human services: the Career/Vocational Education and Guidance Department of the Santa Clara County, California, Office of Education; the ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services; and, the American Association for Counseling and Development. The wealth of information contained in this 492-page major reference includes: (l) general information about the use of computers in counseling, (2) practical guidelines on what to look for in software, (3) an overview of trends and developments in the availability and use of software, (4) an overview of the range of software programs available on a particular topic, and (5) information on specific software programs. The Guide includes these other unique features: – Factual and up-to-date descriptions of over 500 counseling-relevant software programs. – A large number (93) of intensive software reviews. – A thorough discussion of how far we have come in the use of computers in counseling and what paths and options the future holds.
Resources in the Appendices include: a complete contact and program address list, a program list with user level and computer compatibility, a software evaluation checklist, and an index of reviewers and programs.
Software program topics include software for: (1) personal counseling, (2) career counseling, (3) academic advising, (4) testing, and (5) administration.

Characteristics of Ideal Counseling Software
Some of the most important characteristics of high quality programs include: 1. Detailed, accurate advice about hardware requirements (e.g., capacity, printer support, type of monitor) and clear instructions on how to install and/or start the program. 2. Compatibility with both IBM PC and the Apple series of computers. 3. Trial use and/or rental options. 4. Frequent revisions and updates provided at no, or minimal, cost to the purchaser. 5. Ability to complete the program, or at least stand-alone segments of it, within a 50-minute time period. 6. Attractive graphics (images and colors). 7. Features that capitalize on the interactive and user-involvement potential of the computer. 8. Ability to back up and change answers and move between sections. 9. Option for printed feedback and the ability to save information. 10. Minimal consequences of errors.

Guidelines for Selecting Software
One of the many ideas suggested in the Guide for selecting software is a simplified three-step process called the SEP Approach (See, Evaluate, and Plan). See the software for a cursory visual assessment to determine if further consideration is warranted; evaluate the purpose, usefulness, appeal, and cost of the program for your clients; and Plan how the software can be incorporated into your program of services. If the software passes the SEP test, a professional trial/assessment of the contents is critical, with both counselors and clients.
Price generally parallels complexity and quality of programs; however, check on the company’s return policy. If possible, preview the product through exhibitors at professional conventions. Consider also whether it is generative (i.e., allows the client to expand their consciousness to trigger growth) or limited and “canned.” Will it enhance the quality of the counseling relationship, or will it interfere with research-proven qualities of counseling effectiveness?

Trends and Developments
As need and implementation increase, further research will be needed on procedures and outcomes. Many program topics (e.g., personal counseling) need further development, matching technique with: (1) medium of presentation, (2) skills of the counselor constructing the materials, (3) training of counselors using the software, and (4) research on specific use of programs. The extreme differences in both quality and potential effectiveness demands that the user be alert. Quality factors to signal include theoretical orientation, user manual and support, training needed, research, client interaction, technical problems and which need careful scrutiny by the potential user.
Ethical Standards.
The integration of computer technology into counseling raises many potential problem areas and ethical issues. The revised AACD Ethical Standards provides ten guidelines for acceptable professional training and service delivery. Counselor educators and practicing counselors should examine their “boundaries of competence” to use computer technology ethically in their services to clients.

A significant new development is the proliferation of software programs that are easily understood (e.g., HyperCard, which allows the counselor to focus on needs, not the program language). Voice activation programming will further enhance the trend toward user-friendliness, and with wider acceptance, the price will become more affordable.
Holistic, multidisciplinary computer applications will refine and interrelate the current domains of self-reporting, performance, and psycho-physiological measuring by the computer.

If counselors are to use computers effectively they will need a systematic strategy and comprehensive model for implementing computer applications in counseling and human development service delivery systems.
Progress toward interconnectivity, with all programs running on all machines, makes startling improvements each year, but is yet to be fully realized. Counselor generated programming is an important future step.
Counselors will creatively adapt marketed software to meet client needs.
Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) players and touch screens are looming on the periphery of counseling software, and many counselors now have access to the hardware necessary to run the programs.
Vertical markets (programs scaled for various levels of competencies) for special groups (e.g., at-risk youth, adult career-changers, the out placed) will increase.

Future Trends
1. Greater attention will be paid to careful and systematic planning for the use of computers in counseling. 2. Various counseling functions will become increasingly interrelated as a result of the use of computers. 3. Counselors will increasingly demonstrate more imaginative and innovative uses of computers in counseling. 4. Counselors will make regular use of a centralized source of review and evaluation of counseling-relevant software. (Glen, 2009)
Counseling software programs have proliferated in recent years. Many programs are now duplicative, having been developed largely by technicians rather than counseling professionals. For example, more than a dozen resume-writing programs are currently available. Since good software programs are the result of a team effort, counselors, as users, should develop program ideas with technical staff to produce quality and relevant software. Kid Talk I, Career Finder, and College Finder are good examples of high quality counselor-generated programs which are appropriate to the needs of clients.
Wise counselors of the future will feign neither superiority nor disinterest in this age of the information revolution. They will, instead, proactively develop technological expertise and appropriate content for counseling software programs. Thus, they will contribute significantly to a broad repertoire of “high tech, high touch” effective counseling services, and narrow the gap between the potential of information technology, and available resources addressing counselors’ computer-relevant needs.

There are three main domains of learning and all teachers should know about them and use them to construct lessons. These domains are cognitive (thinking), affective (emotion/feeling), and psychomotor (physical/kinesthetic). Each domain on this page has a taxonomy associated with it. Taxonomy is simply a word for a classification. All of the taxonomies below are arranged so that they proceed from the simplest to more complex levels. The ones discussed here are usually attributed to their primary author, even though the actual development may have had many authors in its formal, complete citation
It is interesting to note that even though the taxonomy associated with cognition is commonly referred to as Bloom’s Taxonomy, David Krathwohl was also one of the original authors in creating this work. This will become important when you look at the 2001 revisions to this taxonomy.
Many veteran teachers are unaware that the cognitive/thinking domain, again commonly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy and originally published in 1956, had major revisions in 2000/01. While I have included the original cognitive one, I have also attached it to the newly revised version so that users can see the differences. The newer version of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning has a number of added features that are very useful to educators in constructing optimal learning experiences.
Additionally, when possible, teachers should attempt to construct more holistic lessons by using all 3 domains in learning tasks. This diversity helps to create more well-rounded learning experiences and meets a number of learning styles and learning modalities, plus it creates more neural networks and pathways aiding recall.

The Original Cognitive or Thinking Domain –
Based on the 1956 work, The Handbook I-Cognitive Domain, behavioral objectives are divided into subsets. These subsets were arranged into a taxonomy and listed according to the cognitive difficulty, simpler to more complex forms. As stated earlier it has been commonly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy since 1956. In 2000-01 revisions to this taxonomy were spearheaded by one of Bloom’s former students, Lorin Anderson, and one of his original partners in defining the cognitive domain, David Krathwohl. Please see my page entitled Anderson and Krathwohl – Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised for further details.
Remember while it is good to understand the history of the older version of the domain, the newer version has a number of strong advantages that make it a better choice for planning instruction today. One of the major changes that have occurred between the old and newer updated version is that the two highest forms of cognition have been reversed.
Additional Resources: A wonderfully succinct and comprehensive overview of both taxonomies is provided by Mary Forehand at the University of Georgia in a Wikipedia type format, there are many different types of graphics cleverly depicting the new versions that can be printed and readily used as everyday references during instructional planning. In a search engine like Google enter “revised Bloom’s taxonomy” and view the “images” portion of the search to find many different types of colorful and useful graphics on this topic.

The Affective or Feeling Domain:
Like cognitive objectives, affective objectives can also be divided into a hierarchy (according to Krathwohl). This area is concerned with feelings or emotions. Again, the taxonomy is arranged from simpler feelings to those that are more complex.

1. Receiving
This refers to the learner’s sensitivity to the existence of stimuli – awareness, willingness to receive, or selected attention.

2. Responding
This refers to the learners’ active attention to stimuli and his/her motivation to learn – acquiescence, willing responses, or feelings of satisfaction.

3. Valuing
This refers to the learner’s beliefs and attitudes of worth – acceptance, preference, or commitment. An acceptance, preference, or commitment to a value.

4. Organization
This refers to the learner’s internalization of values and beliefs involving (1) the conceptualization of values; and (2) the organization of a value system. As values or beliefs become internalized, the leaner organizes them according to priority.

5. Characterization – the Internalization of values
This refers to the learner’s highest of internalization and relates to behavior that reflects (1) a generalized set of values; and (2) a characterization or a philosophy about life. At this level the learner is capable of practicing and acting on their values or beliefs.
Based on:
Krathwohl, D.R., Zolotarev. and Masia, B. B. (1964).Taxonomy of educational objectives, Book II. Affective domain. New York, NY. David McKay Company, Inc.
Note: As with all of the taxonomies, in labeling objectives using this domain there has to be a very clear instructional intention for growth in this area specified in the learning objective(s). Folks in the sciences and in math often avoid including affective objectives stating that their areas are not emotional. However, any group work or cooperative exercise where deportment or collaborative or cooperative skills are discussed, used, and emphasized qualifies as having the potential for affective growth. Additionally, if students are asked to challenge themselves with independently taking risks to develop and present a hypothesis and/or persuade others on drawn conclusions, or actively take an intellectual risk whereby they increase in self-confidence, these types of exercises also have the potential to be affective as well as a cognitive. Also, in areas of potential debate, where data allows students to draw conclusions about controversial topics or express opinions and feelings on those topics, this too can be tweaked so there is intentional affective growth. Since emotion draws both attention and channels strong residual memory, it behooves all dedicated and artful educators to include affective objectives, no matter what their discipline or area of study.

The Psychomotor or Kinesthetic Domain
Psychomotor objectives are those specific to discreet physical functions, reflex actions and interpretive movements. Traditionally, these types of objectives are concerned with the physically encoding of information, with movement and/or with activities where the gross and fine muscles are used for expressing or interpreting information or concepts. This area also refers to natural, autonomic responses or reflexes.
As stated earlier, to avoid confusion, if the activity is simply something that is physical which supports another area — affective or cognitive — term the objective physical rather than psychomotor. Again, this goes to instructional intent. A primary example of something physical which supports specific cognitive development and skills might be looking through a microscope and identifying and drawing cells. Here the instructional intent of this common scientific activity is not to develop specific skilled proficiency in microscope viewing or in reproducing cells through drawing. Usually the key intent in this activity is that a physical action supports or is a vehicle for cognitive growth and furthering recognition skills. The learner is using the physical action to achieve the cognitive objectives — identify, recognize, and differentiate varied types of cells.
If you are using a physical activity to support a cognitive or affective function, simply label it as something physical (labeling the objective as kinesthetic, haptic, or tactile is also acceptable) and avoid the term psychomotor. Labeling something psychomotor means there is a very clear educational intention for growth to occur in the psychomotor domain.
Certainly more complex learning objectives can be written so that they that meld 2 or 3 domains. For instance, students can gain appreciation (an affective objective) for the culture or country of origin through conducting investigations or listening to stories while learning the dances from other countries. Learning dance steps would fall under “skilled movements” in the psychomotor domain.

Reflex movements
Objectives at this level include reflexes that involve one segmental or reflexes of the spine and movements that may involve more than one segmented portion of the spine as intersegment reflexes (e.g., involuntary muscle contraction). These movements are involuntary being either present at birth or emerging through maturation.

Fundamental movements
Objectives in this area refer to skills or movements or behaviors related to walking, running, jumping, pushing, pulling and manipulating. They are often components for more complex actions.

Perceptual abilities
Objectives in this area should address skills related to kinesthetic (bodily movements), visual, auditory, tactile (touch), or coordination abilities as they are related to the ability to take in information from the environment and react.
Physical abilities
Objectives in this area should be related to endurance, flexibility, agility, strength, reaction-response time or dexterity.

Skilled movements
Objectives in this area refer to skills and movements that must be learned for games, sports, dances, performances, or for the arts.

Non discursive communication
Objectives in this area refer to expressive movements through posture, gestures, facial expressions, and/or creative movements like those in mime or ballet. These movements refer to interpretative movements that communicate meaning without the aid of verbal commands or help.
Online-counseling services are currently being provided in a variety of formats and are expected to increase in the next 10 years (Dawn, Hedges, & Prochaska, 2002; Hooley, 2012). Clients are using videoconferencing, synchronous chat, and asynchronous e-mail with professional psychologists in place of or in addition to face-to-face (FtF) counseling. Yet the majority of counseling psychologists are not involved in the provision of these services (Atch & Williams, 2000), and few have investigated whether the ser-vices are a viable means of client counseling. Several considerations arise from these trends. First, other professionals or even quasi-professionals online may provide mental and behavioral health services, and counseling psychologists may be missing opportunities to reach new clients. Second, an increasing number of individuals are exploring the Internet for career and behavioral health services and information, and counseling psychologists are not involved in ensuring that this mode of psycho education and prevention is accurate and safe. This review of the available literature has shown online counseling to be beneficial for some clients, but the body of knowledge has not yet established online counseling as a truly effective mode of service delivery. Counseling psychologists are in a unique position not only to extend their services to online modes of treatment but also to conduct research in this area to determine whether online-counseling practices are therapeutically beneficial for clients. These new modes of service delivery may offer counseling psychologists an innovative context for furthering the field’s process-outcome research. This article begins to outline specific areas of investigation that may allow counseling psychologists to further their knowledge of what is and what is not therapeutic for clients. Subsequently, this article’s purpose is to discuss online counseling (i.e., asynchronous e-mail, synchronous chat, and videoconferencing), to outline and evaluate the research in this area, and to provide guidelines and a context for future research from a counseling psychology framework. We offer a brief overview of the telephone-counseling literature to provide a foundation for the subsequent review of the online-counseling literature. The latter begins with research that has examined online support groups and the potential for computer-mediated communication to facilitate emotional responses and a sense of alliance among group members. We discuss studies that have assessed client and clinician satisfaction with new modes of service delivery. Next, we review the process-outcome research that has been conducted on online counseling. Then, we review studies related to multiculturalism and the access to new treatment modalities. Finally, we conclude with a section regarding what is currently known about online counseling and a discussion of important gaps in the literature from a counseling psychology perspective.

Specifically, we use counseling psychology’s focus on normal and develop-mental challenges or tasks, client strength and resilience, education and career development, prevention, consultation, psycho education, and wellness to frame this review. By linking the available literature to counseling psychology’s unifying themes and the scientist-practitioner model, we hope to integrate and synthesize the research while stimulating the reader to consider how counseling psychology can define the future practice of online Counseling. We use the term online counseling throughout the article to Encompass the growing variety of therapeutic services currently offered. A Definition of online counseling can be found in the previous introductory
Article (Gladding & Vogel, 2005 [this issue]).Importantly, our goal with this article is not to advocate or to oppose online counseling but to organize the relevant research findings into an accessible format for counseling psychologists. Several articles have already summarized the debate and the various obstacles and challenges associated with online counseling. For example, Bukoye, Zack, and Speyer (2004) listed potential benefits and challenges of online counseling. Benefits included convenience and increased access ( Jencius & Sager, 2001; Pomerantz, 2002), the therapeutic effects of writing (L. J. Murphy & Mitch-ell, 1998; Pennebaker, 1997; Wright & Chung, 2001), and the ability to link clients to limitless multimedia resources (Grohol, 2002). Challenges included lack of nonverbal cues , possible minimization of cultural static , misreading cues, time delays, technological glitches (Griffiths, 2001), crisis management , and potential client or therapist deficiency in computer literacy. The goal of this article is to synthesize and consider online counseling specifically from a counseling psychology framework. We begin with a discussion of the telephone-counseling literature to provide a founda-tion for this analysis with a more commonly used technology of counseling psychologists (VandenBos & Williams, 2000)

The Telephone in Counseling
Although Internet-based technologies are currently increasing the amount of services provided outside of the traditional setting, the use of distance technology in practice has been discussed in the literature for more than 30 years. The telephone has a strong historical record in serving clients and is a precursor to more sophisticated distance technologies. This discussion, about the usefulness of the telephone for counseling services, has a direct bearing on the issues related to online-counseling services.
Today, the telephone, also a distance-communication technology, has become a standard tool for most practitioners for tasks such as scheduling, consultation, payment, crisis management, and even psychotherapy. In a survey of nearly600 doctoral-level practicing psychologists who were members of the American Psychological Association (APA), 98% reported providing services by telephone (VandenBos and Williams, 2000). The five primary health career-vices for which practitioners most often reported using the telephone were referrals (91%), emergency care (79%), consultation and education (71%), individual psychotherapy (69%), and clinical supervision (58%). Thus, today, the majority of practicing APA psychologists report using the telephone not only to conduct routine business activities but also for the direct provision of client care (i.e., crisis care and individual psychotherapy). Despite the telephone’s being a common and relatively uncontroversial method of communicating with clients, earlier writers vigorously discussed the possible applications of the telephone including pitfalls and limitations (Lamb, 1969; Rosenblum, 1969). Below, we review the literature related to mental health and behavioral services provided by telephone, using the counseling psychology framework and serving to highlight the current issues that counseling psychologists must consider when using distance-communication technologies to deliver these services. Our major topics involve research that relates to effectiveness and beneficiaries, access to counseling and behavioral services, and the ability to foster client strength, resilience, prevention, and wellness. Effectiveness of Telephone Counseling—Learning from the Past One of the main debates in the telephone literature is whether telephone counseling can be effective or as effective as treatments. Sangha, Dircks,
And Langlois (2003), for example, studied the effectiveness of genetic counseling by telephone with a sample of 24 pregnant women, finding that participants did not significantly differ on measures of their understanding of the information presented and that both groups experienced a similar reduction in reported anxiety on a 10-item questionnaire. The trial, however, was nonrandomized. Because the study allowed patients to choose either telephone or FtF counseling, it may be that patients who selected telephone counseling were somehow different from those who chose counseling; however, demographic variables demonstrated rather homogeneous groups, and no significant differences were found during the posttest evaluation, indicating that the sample was representative of the population. A second study by Reese, Conoley, and Brossart (2002) also compared data from a nonrandom sample of 186 adult clients who received telephone counseling to data from the Consumer Reports(CR) effectiveness study of psychotherapy (Seligman, 1995). The results from the telephone study were significantly lower than the CR study in regard to how helpful the clients thought the intervention was but slightly higher in regard to their satisfaction with the services provided. Yet, as the CR results are not a true comparison group to the individuals involved in the telephone-counseling study, these findings need to be interpreted with caution.
As these studies demonstrate, one of the issues facing researchers examining the effectiveness of counseling through distance technologies is the difficulty in directly comparing telephone counseling to the traditional FtF mode of treatment. As such, several studies have investigated the effectiveness of telephone counseling as an adjunct to traditional treatments. For example, Lovell, Fullalove, Garvey, and Brooker (2000) followed four middle-aged patients diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Patients were delivered a single 45-minute treatment session, eight weekly telephone The innovations of computer technology led to several new forms of communication, all with implications and applicability for the counseling and psychotherapy practices. CMC began to gain momentum in the 1960s and can be defined as any type of communication between two or more individuals facilitated by computer hardware or software, with e-mail being the most common form (Kraut, Mukhopadhyay, Szczypula, Kiesler, & Scherlis, 1999; Walther & D’Addario, 2001). Current examples of CMC include sending an e-mail to a family member, posting a message on a professional listserv or bulletin board, having a conversation with a friend in a chat room, or using a videophone and webcam to send pictures and sounds to a friend.The first well-documented example of a computer program’s being used for therapeutic purposes was the software program ELIZA, originally designed as a language program (Weizenbaum, 1976). ELIZA was not strictly a form of CMC because it did not link two individuals together. Instead, it was designed to generate certain language patterns as a response to input from an individual. This commonly used language-generation program is noteworthy and closely associated with counseling psychology because it was meant to replicate a Rogerian therapist’s statements during an initial Therapy session. The curious reader can interact with the original ELIZA pro-gram on several Web sites (e.g., http://www.manifestation.com/neurotoys/eliza.php3). Online Support Groups—Demonstrations of Empathy Counseling psychologists work to convey empathy and support to clients so that their strengths and coping abilities can flourish. Consistent with this notion, some researchers have suggested that one of the Internet’s main bene-fits is that it is a way for individuals to connect with others and to gain support and information (e.g., Barak, 1999; Zelvin & Speyer, 2004). The Internet may be a way to receive social support particularly for individuals who feel isolated, leading them to find new ways to handle problems. However, the question is whether online counseling can effectively accommodate the communication of therapeutic empathy and support without both parties’ being present at the same location.The research has frequently investigated the use of online support groups and has typically found benefits for participants (e.g., Grohol, 2004; Mallen, 2004). Online support groups consist of messages on discussion boards available 24 hours a day, and these groups have been shown to yield benefits. Because these messages are available to anyone with access to the Internet, researchers have lurked on discussion boards to analyze their content. By lurking, the researchers do not participate in the group but are capable of reading each message that is posted. The ethics of such research are not yetclearly defined, as members of online support groups are not typically guar-anteed privacy or confidentiality. Researchers interested in collecting data this way should be aware of potential ethical questions related to publishing data without the knowledge of participants. The following article (Mallen,Vogel and Rochlen, 2005 [this issue]) elaborates on the numerous ethical issues of collecting data through CMC. Despite the controversy involved in lurking on online support groups to collect data for publication, the research exists and the results warrant review.

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