Year: 1979 Source: Kroeber Anthropological Society Papers, no.59/60, (1979), p.59-67 SIEC No: 20010722

This paper examines the effects on counsellor & client role performance of the confidential telephone counselling service provided by the Suicide Prevention Center of Alameda County & the repercussions these have for both parties. Since clients’ confidentiality & privacy are protected, & they & counsellors are strangers who communicate over the telephone, fewer behavioural restrictions can be imposed than in face-to-face encounters. The advantageous & disadvantageous consequences of this situation for both participants is explored in detail. The discussion presented is based on intensive interviews of the staff & 11 volunteer telephone counsellors that were conducted during 3 months of fieldwork in the summer of 1979, & on notes the author had taken since joining the service as a volunteer in March 1979. (5 refs.)