Covid-19 and Mental Health: The Growing Need of Telecounseling in Indonesia

Edilburga Wulan Saptandari
(Submitted 20 October 2020)
(Published 22 December 2020)


Covid-19 pandemic has not only threatened public physical health but also mental health. The mental health effects of this pandemic can include anxiety of contamination and death as well as feelings of isolation. Counseling has been proved as an effective method of supporting the physical and psychosocial needs of the individual affected. Technological advancement makes it possible for psychologists and clients to carry out counseling sessions without the needs of physical presence in one place by utilizing various modes of telecommunication. This form of counseling is known as telecounseling. As a relatively new form of counseling in Indonesia, numerous aspects need to be considered in implementing telecounseling. This article aims to explore the considerations taken in conducting telecounseling sessions in Indonesia. Their opportunities and challenges which might not be present in an offline face-to face counseling will also be discussed. Psychologists need to develop both practical and technical competencies to be able to provide adequate telecounseling services. Suggestions for development are also given to other relevant parties such as psychological service institutions, professional associations, and education providers.


counseling; telecounseling; telepsychology

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.22146/buletinpsikologi.60720


American Psychological Association (APA). (2013). Guidelines for the practice of telepsychology. Retrieved from

Annur, C. M. (2020, Juni). Buka kanal kesehatan jiwa, Halodoc gandeng 500 psikolog dan psikiater. Katadata. Retrieved from, 24 September 2020.

Australian Psychological Society (APS). (2011). Ethical guidelines for providing psychological services and products using the internet and telecommunications technologies. Retrieved from

Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: Rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet,395(10227), 912-920. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30460-8

Christiyaningsih. (2019, May 06). Pijar psikologi, konsultasi daring atasi permasalahan mental. Retrieved from, 4 Oktober 2020

Fuertes, J. N., & Ponterotto, J. G. (2003). Culturally appropriate intervention strategies. In G. Roysircar, P. Arredondo, J. N. Fuertes, R. Toporek & J. G. Ponterotto (Eds.), Multicultural counseling competencies, 2003: AMCD (pp. 51–58). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Gamble N, Boyle C, Morris Z.A. (2015) Ethical practice in telepsychology. Australian Psychologist, 50(4), 292–298. doi: 10.1111/ap.12133

Haberstroh, S. (2009). Strategies and resources for conducting online counseling. Journal of Professional Counseling: Practice, Theory and Research, 37(2), 1–20. doi: 10.1080/15566382.2009.12033857

Haberstroh, S., Duffey, T. D, Evans, M., Gee, R., & Trepal, H. (2007). The experience of online counseling. The Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 29, 269-282. doi: 10.17744/mehc.29.3.j344651261w357v2

Himpunan Psikologi Indonesia (Himpsi). (2020). Panduan layanan psikologi dalam masa tanggap darurat COVID-19 bagi psikolog, sarjana psikologi, asisten psikolog dan praktisi psikologi. Retrieved from, 30 September 2020

Iqbal, Y., Jahan, R., Yesmin, S., Selim, A., & Siddique, S. N. (2020). COVID ‐19‐related issues on tele‐counseling helpline in Bangladesh. Asia-Pacific Psychiatry, 12407, 1-3. doi: 10.1111/appy.12407

Kabir, S. M. S. (2017). Introduction to counseling. In book: Essentials of counseling (pp. 21-44). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Abosar Prokashana Sangstha.

Lange, A., Van de Ven, J-P., & Schrieken, B. (2003). Interapy: Treatment of post- traumatic stress via the Internet. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 32(3), 110-124. doi: 10.1080/16506070302317

Liu, S., Yang, L., Zhang, C., Xiang, Y., Liu, Z., Hu, S., & Zhang, B. (2020). Online mental health services in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Lancet Psychiatry,7(4). doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30077-8.

Luca, R. D., & Calabrò, R. S. (2020). How the COVID-19 pandemic is changing mental health disease management: The growing need of telecounseling in Italy. Innov Clin Neurosci, 17(4-6), 16-17.

Mallen, M. J., Vogel, D. L., Rochlen, A. B., & Day, S. x. (2005). Online counseling: Reviewing the literature from a counseling psychology framework. The Counseling Psychologist. doi: 10.1177/0011000005278624

Mark Orkin, B. (2020, 13 Mei). Coronavirus: Lockdown Op-ed: The hidden struggle: The mental health effects of the Covid-19 lockdown in South Africa. Retrieved from, September 30, 2020,

McCord, C., Bernhard, P., Walsh, M., Rosner, C., & Console, K. (2020). A consolidated model for telepsychology practice. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 76(6), 1060–1082.

Neilsen, J., & Loranger, H. (2006). Prioritizing web usability. Berkeley, CA: Person Education.

New Zealand Psychologists Board (NZPB). (2012). The practice of telepsychology. Retrieved from http://www.

Pillay, A. L., & Barnes, B. R. (2020). Psychology and COVID-19: Impacts, themes and way forward. South African Journal of Psychology,50(2), 148-153. doi: 10.1177/0081246320937684

Prather, K. A., Wang, C. C., & Schooley, R. T. (2020). Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Science,368(6498), 1422-1424. doi: 10.1126/science.abc6197

World Health Organization. (2002). Prevention and promotion in mental health: Mental health: Evidence and research. Genève: World Health Organization.

Richards, D., & Vigan´o, N. (2012). Online counseling. In Y. Zheng (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cyber behavior (Vol. 1, pp. 699–713). New York: IGI Global. R

Saptandari, E. W., Praptomojati, A., & Handoyo, R. T. (2020). Layanan psikologi daring: Psychological first aid dalam situasi COVID-19. Unpublished Manuscript, UKP Fakultas Psikologi, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta.

Setyorini, V. P., & Zhafira, D. N. (2019, 6 Mei). Menyalakan sepercik harap melalui konseling daring. Retrieved from

Shereen, M. A., Khan, S., Kazmi, A., Bashir, N., & Siddique, R. (2020). COVID-19 infection: Origin, transmission, and characteristics of human coronaviruses. Journal of Advanced Research,24, 91-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jare.2020.03.005

Sussman, R. J. (2004). Counseling over the Internet: Benefits and challenges in the use of new technologies. In G. R. Waltz & C. Kirkman (Eds.), Cyberbytes: Highlighting compelling uses of technology in counseling (pp.17-20).

Troyer, E. A., Kohn, J. N., & Hong, S. (2020). Are we facing a crashing wave of neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID-19? Neuropsychiatric symptoms and potential immunologic mechanisms. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 34-39. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2020.04.027

World Health Organization. (2020). WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) dashboard. Retrieved from


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Buletin Psikologi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.