Online counselling in schools as an additional option to face-to-face provision: Exploration of pupils' experiences and comparison of effectiveness of working in different mediums

Hennigan, Jeanette (2018) Online counselling in schools as an additional option to face-to-face provision: Exploration of pupils' experiences and comparison of effectiveness of working in different mediums. DProf thesis, Middlesex University / Metanoia Institute.

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Abstract

Aim/Purpose: A review of a UK Schools Counsellors attitudes to school-based online counselling (Hennigan & Goss, 2015) provided impetus for the current study, which sought to understand i) Pupil usage of online counselling provision (as an adjunct to f2f provision) from September 2016-July 2017 ii) Differences in CORE-10 and Goals Based outcomes for pupils using f2f only, online only or a blend of both iii) Pupil’s thoughts about offering choice of f2f, online or blended counselling.

Design/Methodology: A pluralist, mixed methods approach utilised a variety of quantative analyses and a qualitative thematic analysis of post counselling interviews with pupils who had experienced either f2f or online counselling.

Results/Findings: Of 68 pupils (7.6% of total pupil cohort) using the service, 52 (76%) chose to work f2f only and 16 (24%) chose online counselling (12 blended with f2f and 4 online only). Results suggest that those who received online counselling had a slightly a higher mean average first CORE-10 score and made slightly more improvement. Thematic analysis of post counselling pupil interviews revealed three main themes: ‘Convenience’, ‘Connection’ and ‘Confidentiality’. Perceived concerns that pupils had about online school-based counselling e.g. quality of relationship, confidentiality online, miscommunication and lack of visual cues, are comparable to some concerns that UK secondary school counsellors had in 2014 (Hennigan & Goss, 2015) and are potentially based upon lack of exposure to relevant information.

Research Limitations: The relatively small sample size and school type selected for the study limit reliability and generalisability. Future research could address these through a larger group of participants and different types of schools.

Conclusions/Implications (including practice implications): This study suggests that pupils want the convenience and flexibility of having a school-based counselling service that is both online and offline and create strong enough connections with their counsellor to make roughly equivalent progress in both mediums. Clarity around confidentiality online may encourage more pupils to access counselling this way, as well as continued exposure to what is for many, still a new and potentially risky venture.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Metanoia Institute
Item ID: 26356
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2019 14:50
Last Modified: 06 May 2019 06:09
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26356

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