The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) third consultation on the Depression in Adults updated draft guideline was launched on 23 November 2021. It will run until 12 January 2022, with the final guideline expected to be published in May 2022.

BACP, and many stakeholders from the mental health sector, have lobbied and challenged NICE on this specific guideline, as well as their approach to developing mental health guidelines more generally.

We have long campaigned against NICE’s over-reliance on data collected through randomised controlled trials (RCTs). While we support conducting RCTs and can see value in the data generated from them, they’re only part of picture. We're fundamentally committed to ensuring that other types of evidence are recognised and valued, including data from real world practice.

It's of paramount importance that any response to the consultation is robust and evidence-based as, despite controversy within the mental health field, NICE’s reputation and their clinical guidelines remain influential both within the UK and abroad.

The papers included in this special virtual issue have been chosen to highlight the breadth of research and research methodologies which have explored the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy for depression. Topics covered include cognitive and interpersonal variables in depression, practitioners’ experiences of implementing Counselling for Depression (CfD; now known as Person-Centred Experiential Counselling for Depression or Person-Centred Experiential Therapy) in routine practice settings, and opinions on how NICE should evaluate research on counselling and psychotherapy for the treatment of depression.

This issue also seeks to highlight research which encapsulates the voice and experiences of clients at their centre, both in terms of what clients perceive as being helpful, as well as the unhelpful aspects; a theme of fundamental importance in delivering an effective clinical guideline.

We hope that publishing this special virtual issue, alongside the launch of the consultation, will encourage practitioners, students, researchers, academics and others to get involved in the consultation process, as well as taking the time to understand the arguments that are being made and why.


All articles are open access until the end of February 2022

How should we evaluate research on counselling and the treatment of depression? A case study on how the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's draft 2018 guideline for depression considered what counts as best evidence
Michael Barkham, Naomi P Moller, Joanne Pybis
First published 19 September 2017

Person-centred experiential therapy: Perceptions of trainers and developers
Rinda Haake, Gillian E Hardy, Michael Barkham
First published: 12 March 2021

Practitioners’ experiences of learning and implementing Counselling for Depression (CfD) in routine practice settings
Leah Drewitt, Joanne Pybis, David Murphy, Michael Barkham
First published: 4 October 2017

A client focused perspective of the effectiveness of Counselling for Depression (CfD)
Stacey Goldman, Alison Brettle, Sue McAndrew
First published: 6 October 2016

Helpful aspects of pluralistic therapy for depression
Pavlina Antoniou, Mick Cooper, Adrien Tempier, Courtenay Holliday
First published: 18 February 2017

A qualitative study of university students' experience of internet-based CBT for depression
Franco Gericke, David D Ebert, Elsie Breet, Randy P Auerbach, Jason Bantjes
First published: 17 August 2021

Significant events in an internet-delivered (Space from Depression) intervention for depression
Derek Richards, Mairéad Dowling, Emma O'Brien, Noemi Viganò, Ladislav Timulak
First published: 13 September 2017

Clients' perceptions of unhelpful factors in CBT in IAPT serving a deprived area of the UK
Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Aaron McMeekin, Peter Walton, Gillian Proctor
First published: 22 July 2019

Bridging the gap between cognitive and interpersonal variables in depression
Debora A D'Iuso, Keith S Dobson, Kia Watkins-Martin, Leah Beaulieu, Martin Drapeau
First published: 23 March 2018

Arts for the Blues: The development of a new evidence-based creative group psychotherapy for depression
Joanna Omylinska-Thurston, Vicky Karkou, Ailsa Parsons, Kerry Nair, Linda Dubrow-Marshall, Jennifer Starkey, Scott Thurston, Irene Dudley-Swarbrick, Surina Sharma
First published: 14 December 2020

Effects of group psychotherapy on depressive and anxious symptoms, self-esteem and social adaptation in college students
Juan A Mejías, María M Jurado, Silvia A. Tafoya, Francisco Romo, José R Sandoval, Lizbeth Beltrán-Hernández
First published: 28 August 2019

Counsellors' experiences of the use of mindfulness in the treatment of depression and anxiety: An interpretative phenomenological analysis
Rebecca McCabe, Elizabeth Day
First published: 29 May 2021