An exploration of work of counsellors who engage with young people who experience mental health problems.
This study explored the work of counsellors, who engage in work with young people who experience mental health problems. The objectives of this study are to investigate the techniques and interventions used by counsellors in addressing the issues presented. The study also explores the challenges or difficulties that a counsellor may encounter when working with young people. The work of counsellors promoting positive mental health with young people was also examined in this study. The study reviewed literature on the work of counsellors with reference to the techniques used, challenges encountered and the promotion of positive mental health. There is a depth of research and literature on these topics, however the majority of this is from young people’s perspectives. Evidence shows that there is a high rate of mental health problems among young people in Ireland. Counselling can help the young person lead a satisfying and fulfilling life, highlighting the importance of counsellor’s work. This study illustrated the lack of research on the work of counsellors from their perspectives. The study used a qualitative method in the form of semi‐structured interviews. The research process involved interviewing five counsellors who currently work with young people. The majority of participants work from similar ethical viewpoints, however each participant’s experience differed from each other. Counsellors use a variety of techniques and interventions to help their clients, the techniques used determined by the individual issues presented by each client. The results illustrate different difficulties and challenges counsellors encounter. Participants emphasised the lack of mental health services and dealing with suicidal tendencies, which heightened demand on their work. Young people’s expectations and the development of relationships also posed a challenge for participants, as clients can have concerns surrounding confidentiality and trust. Participants highlighted the importance of building resilience and supportive networks to promote positive mental health. Resilience and support networks can enable a young person to overcome negative or traumatic experiences in their lives. Supervision was described as vital within 7 counsellor’s work, regular supervision enabled counsellors to receive support and provided an opportunity to express concerns
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