School-based counselling is one of the most prevalent forms of psychological therapy for young people in the UK, with approximately 70,000-90,000 cases per year. This presentation begins by reviewing what we know about the kinds of services being offered, the clients who attend these services, and the growing evidence-base for its effectiveness. It then goes on to look at the key strengths of school-based counselling from the standpoint of a contemporary mental health agenda: that it is a highly accessible service that increases the extent to which all young people have an independent, supportive professional to talk to about difficulties in their lives. The paper then looks at areas for development: increasing the extent to which practice is evidence-informed, greater use of outcome monitoring, ensuring equity of access to young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, increasing service user involvement, and enhancing levels of integration with other mental health provisions. The final part of the presentation reviews very recent developments in the field, including the development of competences for CYP counsellors, e-learning resources (the CYP-MindEd programme), and accreditation for counsellors working with young people.
About Mick Cooper
Mick Cooper is Professor of Counselling at the University of Strathclyde, and National Advisory for Counselling for the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) Programme. Mick’s background is in person-centred, existential and relational approaches to therapy, and he has written extensively on these topics, including Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy (with Dave Mearns, Sage, 2005) and Pluralistic counselling and psychotherapy (with John McLeod, Sage, 2012). Mick has been closely involved in the evaluation of school-based counselling and, most recently, has been appointed as Lead Advisor for the CYP-MindEd for Counselling programme, which will be developing e-training for all counsellors working with children and young people.