November 21 2017 0Comment

The Effectiveness of Counselling

In the News section of last Month’s Therapy Today (November 2017) printed an article referring to the research methods by NICE (the NHS Regulation standards and advisory body National Institute for Health Care and Excellence) into the effectiveness of Counselling.  The article suggests that NICE are failing to draw on the evidence available from patient outcomes collected by the IAPT programme the majority of which, I would imagine comes from CORE (which is a clinical evaluation used to determine the effectiveness of helping interventions like CBT or counselling) evaluations from largely CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) interventions.  I am wondering how balanced this would be.  Much of the evidence based data around CBT interventions which lead them to claim that they are the “therapy of choice for depression” suffer from modality bias in that the research is conducted by CBT  modality therapists themselves.  This is of course self-serving and I do wonder how many suppressed reports lie in dusty CBT filing cabinets which show that CBT is not all that! As the article does suggest though, wider data sources reveal that counselling, by person centrered, psychodynamic or rational emotive for example are as equally as effective as CBT .

Perplexing is that reports in recent months say that referrals to IAPT through the GP for CBT are reduced to around six weeks.  I speak to many clients every week and the picture that I get from them is a different story with waiting times of several months reported, and also that many clients get turned down for CBT  because they are either “too well” or “too unwell”.  I find this neither therapeutic nor ethical in view of CBT claims of efficacy for depression.  I do not doubt that some clients find CBT helpful, but I equally hear as many clients who have been through the CBT therapy that they either forgot the techniques to employ or felt that they were being “told what to think”.

If you are looking for a counselling appointment I will aim to get back to you within one week with an appointment.  I also use CORE (which is a clinical evaluation used to determine the effectiveness of helping interventions like CBT or counselling) in my counselling practise and am very keen to show the efficacy of counselling through the use of these evaluations which are completed at the beginning and at the conclusion of counselling interventions with me.  I will not be telling you how to think but I will work with you collaboratively to help you achieve your goals.


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