The purpose of this study was to explore self-healing processes in young people, and to develop an understanding of the effects of school-based counselling (SBC), by analysing changes in a group of young people who were similar to those attending SBC but who did not participate in this intervention. Semi-structured interviews, based on an adaptation of Elliott’s Change Interview, were conducted with 14 young people who were on a waiting list for SBC as part of a randomised controlled trial.
Participants experienced positive improvements in several domains, with change attributed to three main causes: their own actions, the support they received from family and friends, and the effects of the research.
The results suggest that young people have a natural capacity to self-heal, and that some of the changes associated with SBC may be due to this self-righting process. Supporting this natural capacity may be an important element of therapeutic work with young people.
- school counselling
- adolescent psychotherapy
- psychological change
- distressed young people