The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Counsellors in the National Health Service: A mixed‐method study of efficacy and satisfaction from the counsellor perspective

Ryan, Gemma; Duncan, Charlie and Moller, Naomi P. (2019). Counsellors in the National Health Service: A mixed‐method study of efficacy and satisfaction from the counsellor perspective. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 19(3) pp. 338–348.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (593kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12221
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

Background: It is difficult to know how many counsellors work in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). At a time when the British Government is pledging an expansion of the mental health workforce it is important to understand both the opportunities and barriers for counsellors to work in the NHS.
Aim: To understand counsellors’ job roles, pay, perceptions of services, workplace stress, and reasons for leaving the NHS.
Method: An online survey was advertised to members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP); just under 2,000 counsellors responded. The sample was majority female, white and had completed training. Mixed methods were utilised to analyse the data which incorporated use of thematic analysis.
Findings: The data suggest that, as a workforce, counsellors are prone to being ‘squeezed’ out of the NHS workforce, that they are comparatively ‘underpaid’, are ‘pressurised’ by high level of work demand and are consequently experiencing concerning levels of workplace stress, and that they perceive themselves to be, in multiple ways, ‘under-valued’. Despite this, members reported high adequacy of therapist qualifications and supervision quality within NHS services.
Conclusions: Counsellors have expressed a desire to undertake more work in the NHS and are a potentially cost-effective mental health workforce in comparison with other types of professionals. However, this study has evidenced significant structural, cultural and pay and promotion-related barriers that are pushing counsellors out of the NHS. Of particular concern is what appears to be a broad under-valuing of counsellors as a professional group.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Authors
ISSN: 1746-1405
Keywords: burnout; counselling; job role; NHS; pay; stress
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology and Counselling
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Health and Wellbeing PRA (Priority Research Area)
Item ID: 60285
Depositing User: Naomi Moller
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 08:41
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 10:52
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/60285
Share this page:

Metrics

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU