Is talking alone enough in the 21st century? A qualitative exploration into the therapeutic helpfulness of creative and symbolic methods in school-based counselling (Wales)
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AbstractThis qualitative study sought to examine the nature of School-Based Counselling from the subjective understanding of the therapeutic practitioner, where two central objectives were examined: (1) To investigate the assertion that talking alone is enough when engaging a young person in School-Based Counselling. (2) To demonstrate the usefulness of creative and symbolic method and to explore whether these can be helpful when enhancing the therapeutic relationship. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five School-Based Counselling practitioners who worked exclusively across Wales. The study was then extensively analysed using The Constant Comparative Method. Three master themes emerged from the data: (1) Adopting a 'Young Person-Centred Approach; (2) From the 'Silenced Youth' to the 'Expressive Person'; (3) The usefulness of Creative and Symbolic Methods. School-Based Counselling was identified as predominately Young Person-Centred in its therapeutic practice. The role of School-Based Counselling was also placed into a wider societal context which illustrated the role of a key adult, whilst also suggesting that certain fractions of the adult world still deemed young people as powerless. Talking alone was also identified as 'enough' when promoting therapeutic development for most young people in School-Based Counselling. However the use of Creative and Symbolic Method seemed particularly powerful for those young people who found talking difficult or who belonged to an additional educational needs group. The therapeutic processes of Creative and Symbolic Method were also seen as significant and helped facilitate greater communication. These findings highlight a gap in knowledge in the School-Based Counselling field particularly around young people accessing therapy who also have additional educational needs. The current findings support existing School-Based Counselling literature but offer new clinical insights, advocating opportunities for future research.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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