In this issue
The times they are a-changin: therapy and the search for evidence by Andrew Reeves
The impact of counselling on academic outcomes
A year-long, sector-wide piece of research into the impact of counselling on academic outcomes was conducted by Patti Wallace, Lead Advisor, University and College Counselling, with data contributed by many AUCC members and member institutions in higher and further education in the UK
Counselling staff: how time-limited counselling can effect change in wellbeing
Jill Collins, Colin Dyer and Diana Shave reflect on their research study
Giving ‘a face’ to the institution: the value of an embedded counselling service
In a time of scarce resources and mounting pressures, how students value their educational experience is becoming increasingly important, and that includes the support they can access along the way. Judy Moore and Kathleen Lane report on their research findings
Relationships at the heart of the student experience
Anne Marie Reilly draws attention to research that provides evidence of the importance of relationships for students and argues for the value of in-house counselling alongside teaching and peer support
Is once enough? What is truly useful to the clients we serve?
Polly Brown proposes there is mileage in offering a one-off session in some cases
Building evidence that counts
Denise Meyer argues that between us we have the capacity to produce ever more convincing and credible evidence of our value and effectiveness – and calls upon every service to take seriously the urgent need to rise to this challenge in the current climate
On co-creating the student experience
Ed Pinkney on why counselling services ought to collaborate with students, and how they can support student-led mental health initiatives
The wellbeing agenda: friend or foe?
by members of the AUCC executive
The role of the counselling service in wellbeing
by Ruth Caleb
Client records, courts, children and vulnerable witnesses
by Dr Barbara Mitchels
Notes from the chair
From the editor
Welcome to this year’s special edition of the journal in which we focus on a topic that certainly has led in the past, and still does lead in some quarters, to controversy and debate. Namely, the thorny question of how to evidence the value of counselling (both in general and specifically) within our sector.
Following a foreword by Andrew Reeves, editor of BACP’s research journal, Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, Patti Wallace, our lead advisor, does indeed lead the way by reporting on the results of her research into the effectiveness (or not) of in-house counselling; research she could not have undertaken without the input of you, our membership. Arguably, this is of particular importance in the current straitened economic climate where the student-as-customer becomes the focus, even as enrolment is down in some institutions. And as governments shift away from providing public subsidies towards transforming the post-school education system into ‘a patchwork of academic supermarkets with, at one end, the research-led Russell Group continuing to super-serve wealthier customers with a wide range of niche offerings while, at the other end, former polytechnics in the Million+ group will be forced to clear their shelves of distinctive or idiosyncratic goods and to focus on those products for which there is already a clearly defined (mass) market’1 – all the while raising prices for everyone. Unsurprisingly, this new focus is likely to impact on enrolment, the student experience and therefore the concerns we see in our counselling services. The hope, therefore, is that Patti’s work, along with all the other contributions in this and future issues, will be a catalyst for a more comprehensive evidence base in our sector.
Last, but by no means least, we welcome debate, feedback and contributions to keep the pot boiling!
1 Freedman D. An introduction to education reform and resistance. In Bailey M, Freedman D. The assault on universities: a manifesto of resistance. London: Pluto Press; 2011.