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School and community-based counselling services for children and young people aged 7-18 in the UK: a rapid review of effectiveness, implementation and acceptability

Copeland, Lauren ORCID:, Willis, Simone ORCID:, Hewitt, Gillian ORCID:, Edwards, Amy, Jones, Sion ORCID:, Page, Nicholas ORCID:, Murphy, Simon ORCID: and Evans, Rhiannon ORCID: 2023. School and community-based counselling services for children and young people aged 7-18 in the UK: a rapid review of effectiveness, implementation and acceptability. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 10.1002/capr.12688

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Introduction Provision of school- and community-based counselling services differs in terms of funding, implementation and eligibility criteria across the UK. The existing evidence of the effectiveness of counselling services is mixed, with little consideration of service context, implementation or acceptability. This rapid review seeks to address the gaps in the extant evidence syntheses by exploring the effectiveness, implementation and acceptability of school- and community-based counselling services in the UK. Methods A systematic literature search was conducted in five electronic databases. Grey literature searches were conducted in 23 national government and third-sector organisational websites. The searches focussed on studies examining counselling interventions aimed at children aged 7–18 years that examined either effectiveness, implementation, acceptability or context. Results Fifty-four studies were included in the review. The few RCT studies suggest that there is no clear evidence of effectiveness of the therapeutic approach, due to mixed findings. There is some tentative evidence for weaker study designs that counselling may have positive impacts across different settings. The service is highly valued by learners, teachers and parents and is believed to improve well-being; however, it is often seen as a discrete service that is not well-embedded within the education system. Conclusions There is mixed evidence for the effectiveness of school- and community-based counselling. However, this needs to be understood in the context of acceptability and implementation. Future work is needed to improve the implementation of services by considering the wider complexity of the systems in which these services are embedded.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1473-3145
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 29 July 2023
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2023 07:36

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