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Title: Effectiveness, process and outcomes in school-based humanistic counselling
Author: McArthur, Katherine
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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School-Based Humanistic Counselling (SBHC) is prevalent in the UK and directed towards the broad construct of psychological distress. Evidence of its effectiveness is limited, and little is known about the processes of change involved. This study aims to test the effectiveness of SBHC and develop understanding of change processes which may lead to enhanced outcomes. Young people aged 13-16 were recruited to a pilot randomised controlled trial comparing SBHC to a waiting list control for one school term (approximately 12 weeks). Psychometric measures were taken at baseline, midpoint and endpoint; adapted Client Change Interviews were conducted at midpoint and endpoint. The primary outcome was psychological distress as measured by YP-CORE. Case material from one male 14 year old participant was systematically analysed by an inquiry group and independent adjudicator. Transcripts from Client Change Interviews with 14 participants allocated to SBHC were analysed using a grounded theory a pproach. Young people allocated to SBHC showed significantly greater reduction in psychological distress, the primary outcome, with an effect size (g) of 1.14 at 12-week endpoint assessment. A range of positive outcomes were reported, including benefits to education. Five potential change processes for young people in SBHC were identified: relief, increasing self worth, developing insight, enhancing coping strategies and improving relational skills. Two processes potentially impeding change were identified: difficulty talking, and time limit. Case material suggested that SBHC made a major contribution to positive change, in addition to changes in parents' behaviour. SBHC reduces psychological distress in young people. Positive change may occur through a complex social process involving the young person's significant relationships. A range of processes are helpful to clients, and not mutually exclusive. Recommendations for further research include further RCTs including economic analysis, a wider range of systematic case studies and more in-depth qualitative analysis of change processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available