Too stuck in their ways? An exploration of younger counsellors’ perceptions and experiences of working with elderly clients

Call for qualified counsellors (any discipline) to take part in a research project

Despite research to suggest that counselling can help older people live happier and healthier lives, there is currently a relatively poor uptake of counselling services by older adults, as well as a reluctance amongst some counsellors to work with this client group. Given the prominence of the ageing population, it seems important to understand the reasons for this and to identify any potential aids and impediments to working with this client group, to inform future counselling practice.

My research study aims to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that may facilitate or hinder work with this client group. I also wish to uncover counsellors’ experiences and perceptions in relation to ways of working with older clients, which may help inform counselling practice.

I am a third year post graduate student at Chester University studying for an MA in Clinical Counselling. I am currently seeking qualified counsellors to participate in the above research project for my MA dissertation.

I am seeking participants who are fully qualified counsellors (you can be from any discipline e.g. Person-Centred, Integrative, Psycho-dynamic etc.), who have at least 1 year’s post-qualification experience of working with clients of all ages, including those you perceive to be ‘elderly’, or to have reached ‘old age’. You should not, however, be working wholly, or predominately, with this client group, or consider this an area of particular interest, or specialism for you. In addition, you should:

* be a currently practising counsellor, with regular Supervision in place
* be over 18 but not consider yourself to be ‘elderly’ or to have reached ‘old age’
* feel able to talk in depth about your personal experiences of working with this client group, whilst remaining safe.
* have access to support or personal therapy.
* be fluent in the English language.

I can confirm that the project has received approval from the Ethics Committee at Chester University.

If you would be willing to share your in-depth experiences by taking part in a 1 hour audio-recorded interview, please contact Nicole Squires via e-mail:

Thank you