What clients say about what works in counselling

Ione Lewis, Jessica Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: Most of the literature and research on counselling practice presents the views of practitioners or researchers on what is effective, with little written by clients on what is helpful for them in making positive changes in their lives. This article reports on a qualitative evaluation study that aimed to access women's views on the helpfulness of counselling services offered by the Domestic Violence and Mid to Older Women's Health services within the Benevolent Society's Centre for Women's Health in the southwest of Sydney, NSW. The data analysis found four major types of change experienced by clients that were linked to specific counsellor interventions. The first, a sense of self, was linked with interventions of recognition and affirmation, removal of guilt and information about domestic violence. The second change, a positive sense of the future, was linked with counsellors presenting different ways of looking at situations. The third, a sense of empowerment, was linked to women having control over the counselling process, being guided by the counsellor and having information about different options. The fourth was a lessening of isolation, facilitated by listening, understanding, support and friendliness. (editor abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-44
Number of pages9
JournalPsychotherapy in Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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