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R&D Working Group

The ACTO Research & Development Working Group

We have two aims:

  1. To collate and provide an invaluable research –based resource for ACTO members, which in turn will influence the wider online profession, and most importantly, provide a rich tapestry of support for our clients / patients.
  2. To increase the employability of online therapists through our projects and disseminated knowledge; which will provide employers with the evidence to gain a better understanding of the efficacy of online therapeutic work.


Who are we?

We are a group of online therapists from a wide variety of backgrounds, some trained and some in training, but all of whom are passionate about working therapeutically online. The group is drawn from ACTO members, with one exception; where we co-opted in a colleague who specialises in data security.

What are we doing?

We recognise that ACTO has a wonderful opportunity to draw together the evidence-based research that is being done around the country, and abroad; to create one comprehensive, central storage place from which to access this growing collection of research.  

Areas of research we are particularly keen to support and develop, include how apps, online platforms, websites, artificial intelligence and virtual reality might help or hinder the therapeutic process. This is list not exhaustive.

We are clear about the importance of maintaining an open and enquiring approach to everything we investigate; keen to have our existing knowledge and experience challenged as the online therapeutic world evolves.

If you would like to contribute in any way to the group or have access to research or knowledge that you think would be useful to our members please email us at Thank you.


“Students Projects

ACTO Board of Directors vets all student-led projects submitted to ACTO to ensure they have been subject to ethical approval and are robust. We limit these projects to 10 projects a year. We authorise those projects that are successfully accepted for this list to use the ACTO list of therapists and to approach our members for help with their research. Any abuse of the system will see their project removed from the list and their permission withdrawn. Please note there is a similar list, limited to 10 per year, for professional academic researchers. This list is published for two reasons:

  1. You can see the projects approved by the Board of Directors. Please inform us if you are approached by any other students undertaking research who are not on the list as this will be an abuse of data privacy.
  2. You will have a place to go and see what research is currently taking place and use this as a resource.


Research Projects agreed for inclusion on the ACTO website for 2018


No Name Qualification Level Project Title Academic Institution Contact Details
1 George Agathokleous  Doctorate Practitioners’ awareness of potential moderator and mediator effects in online psychological practice survey

University of Wolverhampton


Dr Alison Attrill-Smith and Dr Lisa Orchard