A family consultation service: Single session intervention to build the mental health and wellbeing of children and their families

Al-Khatib, Batul and Norris, Sarah (2015) A family consultation service: Single session intervention to build the mental health and wellbeing of children and their families. Educational and Child Psychology, 32 (4). pp. 7-20. ISSN 0267-1611

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Background: The Family Consultation Service (FCS) is a community mental health intervention for children and young people (CYP) which uses psychological consultation with families to address mental health concerns. In the context of increasingly constrained Local Authority finances, it was set up by educational psychologists (EPs) as a response to demands for both increased efficiency and accessibility of mental health services. Aims: This paper demonstrates how EPs can use consultation skills directly with clients within a mental health context and presents a theoretical rationale for this. Method: The FCS model is described and located within the frames of both national and local strategy. Following this, data from the first 150 referrals is analysed using descriptive statistics and the outcomes of a client survey are reported. Findings: A large majority of families referred reported that they achieved their goals after a single session with the FCS and did not take up the offer of additional involvement. This suggests that psychological consultation could potentially contribute towards a national agenda for mental health services that are responsive and preventative in focus. The model is proposed as an alternative to the established medical approaches and may be of interest to EPs and their managers who are looking for innovative ways of delivering systemically orientated psychological services within constrained financial circumstances. Conclusions: Dilemmas arising from the project are considered and subsequently addressed through the introduction of the Common Factors perspective: A paradigm which is gaining interest within the helping professions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Practising psychology in challenging times issue
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental Health, Consultation, Preventative, Early Intervention, Common Factors
Subjects: Families > Families - Psychology
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Family Therapies
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1184

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