Telephone and online counselling in the practice of Kraków Children’s Hospice
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Uniwersytecki Szpital Dziecięcy w Krakowie
Submission date: 2017-09-24
Final revision date: 2017-11-01
Acceptance date: 2017-11-02
Publication date: 2018-01-24
Corresponding author
Karolina Kwiatkowska   

Uniwersytecki Szpital Dziecięcy w Krakowie, Wielicka, 265, 30-663 Kraków, Polska
Psychoter 2017;183(4):29-39
The article is an analysis of the support program for parents who have lost a child, ran by Krakow Children’s Hospice. The goal of the study was to determine the reasons why parents after the loss of the child reach for online psychological help, to determine what kind of support they seek and to name the benefits and risks of applying the online communication in providing psychological care.

The research material consisted of the texts of emails, the texts of forum posts and the telephone help cards, collected during the operation of the program. The author performed a qualitative analysis accordingly to the thematic analysis rules proposed by Braun and Clarke.

Four main themes were identified: Reasons for using the program; Circumstances of the first and the further contacts; Needed help: social and specialist support; Needed help : emotional and informational support.

Among the main reasons of using an online psychological support the following were identified easy access to help, possibility to contact a specialist quickly, possibility to contact others in the similar situation and anonymity. Parents are admitted to the program usually up to 6 months after the child's death and further contacts are often linked to the critical events such as anniversary of the child's death, birthdays, holidays. Parents benefit from both, social support and help offered by the specialists. They are looking for an emotional support, but also for the information. The results confirm that online tools are useful in providing psychological support, but also point out how different they are from a classic psychotherapy.

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