Minding the gaps : using narrative account to explore people’s experiences of using a voluntary sector mental health counselling service

Beaumont, EA ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8259-5858, Hickey, AJ, McAndrew, SL ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4681-3261, Goldman, S and Warne, AR 2016, 'Minding the gaps : using narrative account to explore people’s experiences of using a voluntary sector mental health counselling service' , Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 16 (4) , pp. 298-306.

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Introduction: In the UK almost 50% of illness diagnosed among working age adults is mental distress, with depression and chronic anxiety cited as the two most prevalent psychological illnesses. However, only 24% of those who experience anxiety and depression, consistent with diagnoses, receive National Health Service (NHS) interventions. Effective mental health care is predicated on understanding the lived experiences of those using services in order to provide sensitively-attuned therapy. An understanding of the process of counselling and what makes it effective will only be achieved through hearing the voices of service users. However, with regard to counselling, the literature foregrounding the perspectives of those using services remains sparse. Method: This paper reports on a qualitative research project, adopting a case study approach, the aim of which was to explore detailed narratives of the experiences of people who had used a voluntary sector mental health counselling service in order to elicit the strengths and/or opportunities for improvement of the service. Twelve participants, five males and seven females, were interviewed on a one to one basis and six themes were identified; Mindful of the Gap; Easing like Sunday Morning; Magic Moments; Love is in the Air; Lighting up a Future and Following up the Changes: Spreading the Word. Results: Findings suggest the service is beneficial, with therapeutic interventions being tailor-made to meet the person’s needs and one which ensures a safe environment and compassionate care for those in distress.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1473-3145
Related URLs:
Funders: MIND
Depositing User: Dr Elaine Beaumont
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 13:19
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 21:09
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/40039

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