Publication in British Journal of Guidance & Counselling

Published by Routledge

Avatar-based counselling for psychological distress in secondary school pupils: pilot evaluation

Mick Cooper, Biljana van Rijn and Evi Chryssafidou

This study is a pilot evaluation of a new avatar-based therapeutic tool,
ProReal, with psychologically distressed young people within a school
setting. In total, 54 young people, aged 12–18 years old, participated in
face-to-face avatar-based counselling. Young people used the software to
represent themselves and others, their problems and emotions. The
primary outcome measure was the Young Person’s CORE (YP-CORE). The
avatar-based counselling intervention was feasible to implement and
acceptable to clients, with 90% rating the help that they received as
good, and less than 20% dropout. The intervention was associated with
small to medium reductions in psychological distress, psychological
difficulties and conduct problems. These improvements, however, were
significant for male clients only. Outcomes were greater for counsellors
who spent more time in training and using the ProReal software.

Computer-assisted therapy;
avatar-based therapy;
adolescents; treatment



Research Clinic Approach to the Evaluation of Integrative and Humanistic Psychotherapies

An article by Biljana van Rijn & Ciara Wild, published in The British Journal of Psychotherapy integration. Volume 7, Issue 2 (2010)

The co-editors of this issue write in the editorial that

Biljana [van Rijn !] and Ciara Wild provide an example of setting up a research clinic to gather practice-based evidence on the effectiveness of both integrative psychotherapy and transactional analysis. This style of research, we believe, can contribute to the current and very political debate on therapeutic effectiveness by providing information from  these two approaches which hitherto have not received attention in the current public debates.

Article abstract:

This article presents a research project that led to the development of a research clinic within Metanoia Institute. The research is an evaluation of brief Integrative Psychotherapy and Transactional Analysis within primary care using standardised outcome measures, the Working Alliance Inventory and the measure of adherence to the therapeutic model. The research demonstrates effectiveness of these approaches within NHS and suggests a model of evaluation that can be used within different clinical settings.