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NZ School Counselling Failures in an International Context

NZ School Counselling Outcomes Failure consistent with International Outcome Evidence, says Counsellor & Social Services Researcher

The recent Education Review Office Report that found the quality of school counselling to be less than adequate for students sits right within the framework of the international outcome evidence for counselling services worldwide, and the common denominator for achieving failure is the absence of routine outcome measurement being conducted from a client perspective, says Steve Taylor, Director of 24-7 Ltd, and Social Services Outcomes Researcher.

NZ Herald:

“We know for example that people who seek counselling assistance are better of than 80% of those that do not seek assistance.

We also know that client failure rates for counselling in the absence of routine outcome measurement can be as high as 80%.

Only 3% of counsellors worldwide engage in routine outcome measurement, and in New Zealand, we are famous in the Social Services for being incredibly reluctant to have our performance measured by the most important voice of all – the client.

When outcome studies that nominate medication and “talk therapy” as being the most efficacious for clients are reviewed, it is revealed that the talk therapy component provides the majority of helpful assistance, not the medication.

Research has found that the model of intervention, type of qualification, years of training, culture and gender matching, or membership to a professional association make absolutely no difference whatsoever in assisting clients get better.

The most significant contributions that facilitate positive client outcomes is routine outcome measurement as perceived from the clients perspective, coupled with best practice external Supervision, and evidence-based skills training.

Unfortunately for the Education Review Office, the recommendations they make for more professional learning of school will not solve the problem, and until routine outcome measurement is embedded into service delivery, students will continue to receive at best a mediocre counselling service, form people who actually have no idea how well they are actually performing, because no-one is measuring their actual performance with clients, least of all them".


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