Research on Counselling Children and Young People: A Systematic Scoping Review

From January 2003 to December 2004
Project Leader(s): Dr Sue Pattison/Belinda Harris
Contact: Dr Sue Pattison
Partners: Belinda Harris – University of Nottingham

The review takes a systematic approach to searching and reviewing the research literature relating to the effects of counselling and psychotherapy for children and young people. Inclusion criteria are used to define the scope of the review, which is structured around the range of counselling issues cited above and four groups of counselling approaches: cognitive-behavioural; psychoanalytic; humanistic; and creative therapies. There are, of course, some types of therapy that may be useful and effective with children and young people that are not represented in this report due to the inclusion criteria adopted. The review takes a structured approach by adopting a hierarchy of evidence where best quality evidence was identified from reviews and meta-analyses, followed by primary experimental studies not included in reviews or meta-analyses and finally, other studies. Other studies, including simple before and after studies and qualitative studies, have been included to enrich the evidence base. Evidence from reviews has been assessed by adopting quality criteria used in the Department of Health Review of Psychological Therapies (DoH, 2002). Due to resource constraints it was not possible to evaluate other individual studies. Publication in peer-reviewed journals was therefore considered a suitable benchmark of quality in these cases. Only studies written in the English language are included.


Dr Sue Pattison
Lecturer in Education and Communication and Director of Integrated Phd in Education and Communication