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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

Here are some common questions about Counselling Online

How does Counselling Online work?

Counselling Online can be accessed from any computer or mobile device in Australia with a connection to the internet. You can access our services using a personal computer or mobile device at your home, workplace or community setting. No special equipment or downloads are required.

Our primary service – online counselling, allows you to connect to a professional counsellor, 24 hours a day, and chat by text using any device.

What services are offered?

We offer a range of services, including:

Online counselling

Our counsellors work with you to identify the issue and develop some next steps. We'll help you assess your situation, provide information and support, and provide referral options that will respect your ability to make informed choices for yourself. Online counselling is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Email support

If you have some questions but not much time to chat, you can email your questions to a counsellor. We'll help you assess your situation and offer you options for next steps. Emails are responded to Monday to Friday, 9-5 and we'll attempt to respond to you within 24 hours.

Self-help modules

Easy to follow self-help modules are designed to assist you in making a start by helping you set goals, determine how ready you feel, and identify values that are important to you.


Our self-assessments will help you determine if your current drinking, drug use or psychological health is at risky levels. The self-assessment results will also provide suggestions about next steps based on your score.

SMS service

Our SMS service is a tool that provides daily messages to help keep you focused, motivated and on track. The messages are designed to give you daily tips and suggestions to support your desire to change.

Online peer support community forum

Our forum is a safe place, where you can connect with others affected by a drug and alcohol problem and get support and learn new ways to recover. The forum has a space for people concerned about their own drinking or drug use and attempting to recover, and space for immediate family members, relatives and friends.

All of our services are free.

When is it right for me?

We aim to provide service for people at all stages of help-seeking:

  • for first time help seekers
  • for people waiting for treatment
  • people in treatment who require additional support, particularly after hours
  • people who have completed treatment and want to stay on track
  • for people in recovery wanting to prevent relapse or connect with others, or
  • for people supporting a significant other with a drug and alcohol problem.

If you are unsure what you want to do, if you are contemplating a change or if you are ready for action, we are available to chat.

Online support may not be suitable if you are currently in a crisis situation.

If you are seeking help for a medical emergency or crisis involving personal safety (e.g. suicidal feelings, domestic violence or concern about harm to others), please contact one of the Emergency support services for immediate telephone assistance, listed under 'Emergency Assistance' on our site.

Who will I be chatting with?

We have trained drug and alcohol counsellors from a variety of backgrounds including, psychologists, social workers, and a variety of endorsed counselling disciplines.

What is the Member Portal?

Signing up to Counselling Online’s Member Portal gives you access to our full range of services including live chat counselling, email support, peer-support forum, self-help and self-assessments.

As a member of Counselling Online, all of your previous chat sessions transcripts will be saved and viewable to yourself, and when you reconnect, the counsellor you are chatting to. The benefits of this are:

  • you won’t need to repeat your story each time you start a session,
  • you can refer back to previous sessions for any helpful tips and referrals, and
  • it helps track your progress so that you can see how you are going.
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Next Steps

Next Steps