Children and young people’s goals in online counselling: who achieves what, and how can the data impact on practice?

Sefi, A., Hanley, Terry ORCID: 0000-0001-5861-9170 and Prescott, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-8612-2495 (2019) Children and young people’s goals in online counselling: who achieves what, and how can the data impact on practice? In: BACP 25th Annual Research Conference. Shaping counselling practice and policy: the next 25 years, 17th - 18th May, 2019, Hilton Belfast. (Unpublished)

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Aim/Purpose: There is a growing awareness of the mental health difficulties that children and young people (CYP) encounter. Given the acknowledgement that large numbers of CYP will benefit from additional support, there is increased emphasis on creating accessible services. One area of growth in the UK has been the provision of online therapeutic services. Further, in attempting to make CYP services more youth friendly, goal-based outcome measures are commonly integrated into therapeutic work. This study investigates the types of therapeutic goals set by CYP online and considers how they develop. Design/Methodology: It makes use of a year of practice-based data generated from April 2016 to March 2017 on the service – a web-based platform that offers synchronous and asynchronous counselling, peer-to-peer support and self-help tools. 3403 goals were reported during this period by 1425 CYP and scored from 0-10. The demographic information of the clients using the online service is reflected upon before this information is considered alongside the change that is reported in goal scores. Ethical Approval: This study received a favourable ethical review at the institution of the third author. Results/Findings: It is notable that the online service was primarily used by female users during the reporting period (71%), and a majority of the service users were aged 13-16 years (62%). 46.5% of these goals were fully achieved by the cohort, with an average goal movement overall of 6.69. Conclusions/Implications: The findings contribute to the body of literature that reflect a similar demographic of CYP access online counselling as they do face-to-face counselling. When considering the level achievement of the commonest therapeutic goals, online services can provide an important role in aiding CYP in accessing additional support. Such a view highlights the importance of online services working in conjunction with face-to-face services.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 08:54
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 08:54

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