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School-based counselling  

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Children & Young People Practice Research Network (CYP PRN; formerly SCoPReNet)

The CYP PRN mission is to promote psychological health and emotional wellbeing among schoolchildren in the UK. In supporting high quality and rigorous research the network seeks to improve the quality and effectiveness of school based counselling for the benefit of service users and to widen access to such services by influencing policy makers and those responsible for the commissioning of services.

The CYP PRN aims to bring together practitioners, researchers and trainers to engage in research and evaluation in order to develop the evidence base for school based counselling. This in turn provides opportunities to improve the effectiveness and acceptability of counselling interventions and to impact on policy decisions. A robust evidence base is derived from detailed studies of the effects of an intervention. The types of research investigating the effects of therapy are often divided into two categories: efficacy research which studies therapy under strictly controlled experimental conditions, comparing the difference between control and intervention groups, and effectiveness research which investigates therapy in routine settings using pre- and post- measures, but without a control group. Efficacy research is often referred to as Evidence based Practice (EBP) and effectiveness research as Practice based Evidence (PBE), the similarity of the two phrases denoting a complementary relationship. EBP tends to ask; does it work? whereas PBE asks: does it work in the real world of routine practice? Both of these are important and related questions.

To access and join the network please visit: http://bacp.co.uk/schools/

 

To download the publications, please click on the images below.

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CYP PRN: A toolkit for collecting routine outcome measures (2016) 

Member Price: free to download

Non-Member: free to download

Please note that you must be a CYP PRN member to download this toolkit.

Download the toolkit 

 

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School-based counselling - what is it and why we need it (2013)

Member Price: free to download

Non-Member: free to download

Download the full report 

 

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SCHOOL-BASED COUNSELLING IN UK SECONDARY SCHOOLS: A REVIEW AND CRITICAL EVALUATION (2013)

Member Price: free to download

Non-Member: free to download

Authors: Mick Cooper

Download the full report

School-based counselling is one of the most prevalent forms of psychological therapy for young people in the UK, with approximately 70,000-90,000 cases per year. School-based counselling services in the UK generally offer one-to-one supportivetherapy, with clients typically referred through their pastoral care teachers, and attending for 3-6 sessions. Around two-thirds of young people attending schoolbased counselling services are experiencing psychological difficulties at ‘abnormal’ or ‘borderline’ levels; with problems that have often been present for a year or more. Clients are typically in the 13-15 year old age range, white, most commonly female;
and presenting with family problems or, if boys, anger. With respect to effectiveness, non-directive supportive therapy is a NICE-recommended intervention for mild depression; and there is emerging evidence to suggest that school-based humanistic counselling – a distillation of common school-based counselling practices in the UK – is effective at reducing psychological distress and helping young people achieve their personal goals. School-based counselling is evaluated positively by service users and school staff; and is perceived by them as an effective means of bringing about improvements in students’ mental health and emotional wellbeing. School staff and service users also perceive school-based counselling as enhancing young people’s capacity to engage with studying and learning. From the standpoint of a contemporary mental health agenda, the key strengths of school-based counselling are that it is perceived as a highly accessible service; and that it increases the extent
to which all young people have an independent, supportive professional to talk to about difficulties in their lives. However, there are also several areas for development: increasing the extent to which practice is evidence-informed, greater use of outcome monitoring, ensuring equity of access to young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, increasing service user involvement, and enhancing levels of integration with other mental health provisions. It is hoped that current initiatives in the development of competences, e-learning resources and accreditation for counsellors working with young people will help to achieve this. The conclusions of the review are that commissioners should give consideration to the utility of school-based mental health provisions; and that school-based counsellors – working with colleagues in the field of child and adolescent mental health – have the potential to contribute to an increasingly comprehensive, integrated and ‘young person-centred’ system of mental health care.

 

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Evaluation of the Welsh School-based Counselling Strategy: Final Report (2011)

Member Price: free to download

Non-Member: free to download

Authors: Andy Hill, Mick Cooper, Karen Cromarty, Kate Smith, Nick Maybanks, Sue Pattison, Joanne Pybis, Angela Couchman

Download the full report English / Welsh

Download the exec summary English / Welsh
   
In 2010 the Welsh Government commissioned a research consortium led by the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy and the University of Strathclyde to undertake an evaluation of its school-based counselling strategy (the Strategy) which has been rolled out across Wales over the past three years.

Using a range of research tools, including desk research, analysis of client outcomes, qualitative interviews and surveys of key stakeholders' views, the evaluation sought to describe the implementation and delivery of the Strategy, to assess levels of satisfaction with the Strategy and its school-based counselling services and to examine the impact of the Strategy on the psychological distress of its service users (clients).

The evaluation found that Implementation of the Strategy and its counselling services was generally perceived as successful by all stakeholders, including counselling clients, with evidence that all key recommendations for its development were implemented. Across six terms, 11,043 episodes of counselling were attended. Participation in counselling was associated with large reductions in psychological distress; with levels of improvement that, on average, were somewhat greater than those found in previous evaluations of UK school-based counselling.

Key recommendations are that permanent funding mechanisms should be established to embed counselling in the Welsh secondary school sector, with consideration given to its roll-out into primary schools. Service managers and schools should also look to ensuring equal opportunities of participation in school-based counselling from all sectors of the community, that adequate accommodation is available in schools for the delivery of counselling, and that a system of regular outcome monitoring is established.

 

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Counselling in schools: A research study into services for children and young people

Member Price: free to download

Non-Member: free to download

Authors: Sue Pattison, Nancy Rowland, Karen Cromarty, Kaye Richards, Peter Jenkins, Mick Cooper, Filiz Polat, Angela Couchman

Download the full report (English only)

Download the exec summary   
                                                                                                       

After competing in a tendering exercise, BACP, in primary partnership with the University of Newcastle, won a research tender to undertake work for the Welsh Government to complete a study into the counselling services available to children and young people in Wales. This study was led by Nancy Rowland (BACP Head of Research) and Dr Sue Pattison (University of Newcastle) along with an accompanying research team from the University of Bristol, University of Salford, University of Strathclyde, County Durham LEA and BACP.

The aims and objectives of the research were those of the Welsh Government. The aims were ‘to undertake an evaluation of the counselling services in operation across the UK in order to assess whether current counselling models used in Wales and other parts of the UK were sufficiently robust and flexible enough to apply widely throughout Wales'. The study carried out the following activities:

  • An analysis of how counselling services currently operating in Wales are planned, managed and evaluated
  • A review of the different models that are in existence considering their advantages and disadvantages
  • A comparison of the approaches offered in Wales with at least 10 models across the rest of the UK
  • The development of proposals for a range of suitable counselling models that could operate across Wales.

A key aim of the study was to look at different models of counselling provision in schools across the UK.

The research was undertaken this year and delivered to the Welsh Government in November 2007.

This study supports raising the profile of counselling in schools and will have relevance beyond the initial Welsh context of the research and is of value to everybody who works with children and young people.                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

School-based Counselling Services in Wales a National Strategy (April, 2008) Welsh Government

This document sets out the Welsh Government’s strategy for developing school-based counselling services for children and young people that are safe, accessible and of a high standard. For a full copy of the report visit: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/educationandskills/publications/guidance/counsellingservicesstrategy/?lang=en

 

 
       
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