Indicators of efficacy

A number of items from the survey indicate something that the client found helpful or otherwise in their counselling experience.

Graph/ My self esteem increased

 A respondent with M.E. remarked:

There is no blame whatsoever on the Counsellor, there were difficult paradoxical and incongruent issues in my asking for help but still retaining self-esteem and self-confidence etc...

This respondent points out that asking for help raises ‘difficult paradoxical and incongruent issues’ related in part to the respondent’s self-esteem. Seeking counselling might appear from the counsellor’s point of view to be a positive step in resolving problems, yet for the client it may be that the very act of seeking help could be a further threat to self-esteem and confidence. This could have implications for the initial contact between a potential client and a counsellor.

Graph/ Counselling helped

Graph/ My emotional health improved

Graph/ I recommend counselling to people with M.E. / MS

‘I recommend counselling to people with M.E. / MS’ is perhaps, a respondent’s projected measure of efficacy and encompasses the respondent’s view of the principals of counselling and its usefulness and safety for others with the same illness.

In the above graphs it can be seen that for some respondents counselling was helpful while for others it was not.   In the M.E. group many rated these items very low with 45% and 40%   rating 3 or less for ‘counselling helped’ and ‘my emotional health improved’, respectively. These results are far below what might reasonably be expected from counselling. Hubble, Duncan and Miller (2002, p.24) state:

With meta-analysis, Smith et al. (1980) found that at the end of treatment, the average treated person is better off than 80% of the untreated sample.

And add (Hubble, Duncan and Miller, 2002 p.24):

The good news about the effectiveness of therapy is enhanced by data suggesting that the road to recovery is not long. …75% of clients significantly improved after 26 sessions… The investigators also found that, even with as few as 8 to 10 sessions, approximately 50% of clients show clinically significant change.

Then state (Hubble, Duncan and Miller, 2002 p.28):

That psychotherapy is, in general, effective, efficient, and lasting has been empirically supported time and again. Its legitimacy is confirmed.

Smith (1982) found that meta-analysis of 475 studies:

showed that psychotherapy is effective in enhancing psychological well-being, regardless of the way it is measured by researchers. The patient's age and diagnosis, the therapist's training and experience, and the duration and mode of therapy bear little relation to the psychotherapy's outcome.

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