Adding letters to telephone counselling: A narrative response to frequent callers by Daniela Schon

In this new Friday Afternoon video, Daniela Schon describes how therapeutic letter writing and other narrative practices were implemented in a phone-based community counselling service in relation to work with regular and frequent callers. Helplines provide support for people in distress. Although the focus of these services is often on times of crisis when lives may be at stake, many callers to helplines are struggling with ongoing mental health issues, and may phone frequently, sometimes several times a day, over long periods. This can stretch helpline resources, preventing urgent calls from getting through and taxing counsellors who may be peer-support workers or volunteers. Daniela explains how adding letters to telephone counselling has offered rich story development, for both callers and counsellors.


Daniela has worked with Lifeline Aotearoa in Auckland since 2012. In her role as shift supervisor she provides operational and clinical management to helpline operators, provides supervision for volunteers and oversees the Warmline team. Daniela is a trained narrative therapist who also provides face-to-face counselling. You can contact her by email:

Published on 22 October 2019.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments