School-based humanistic counseling for psychological distress in young people : pilot randomized controlled trial

Mcarthur, Katherine and Cooper, Mick and Berdondini, Lucia (2013) School-based humanistic counseling for psychological distress in young people : pilot randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy Research, 23 (3). pp. 355-365. ISSN 1050-3307

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Abstract

School-based humanistic counseling (SBHC) is a widely-delivered intervention for psychological distress in young people, particularly in the UK. This study piloted a set of procedures for evaluating SBHC and obtaining initial indications of effect. Psychologically distressed young people (aged 13 - 16) were randomized to either 12 weeks of SBHC or a waiting list control. The primary outcome was psychological distress at 12-week endpoint, as measured by the Young Person’s CORE. Those allocated to counseling (n = 16) showed significantly greater reductions in psychological distress than participants in the control group (n = 17), with an effect size (ES) (g) of 1.14 on the primary outcome and a mean ES across all four outcome measures of 0.73 at endpoint. The findings indicate that SBHC may be an effective means of reducing psychological distress in young people.