B

MH98 Prepare, discuss and agree a plan for counselling therapy

Overview

This standard is about accessing and interpreting research evidence and organisation policies about appropriate and effective treatments for particular presentations of personal difficulties.  You will be expected to provide information to clients about the recommended counselling and to explain how it may be helpful.  You must ensure the client is given the opportunity to choose a different counsellor if your therapeutic perspective does not have an evidence base for their presenting problem.  In such circumstances you are expected to facilitate and support the referral of the client.  This standard requires that you keep up to date about recommendations for evidence based practice.  You must also be able to make an informed decision about the number of sessions required to treat the client if you have decided that counselling is appropriate.  You will need to understand about brief counselling and about an open-ended contract and when each is deemed to be appropriate.

Users of this standard will need to ensure that practice reflects up to date information and policies.

Version No 1

Knowledge and Understanding

You will need to know and understand:

  1. The types of counselling appropriate for particular presentations of personal difficulties  and the client group you work with (i.e. children, young people, adults, older people and other specialist and targeted services)
  2. Up-to-date research and guidance on evidence-based practice
  3. The change process inherent in your consistent in-depth theoretical perspective
  4. A range of counselling theoretical perspectives and modes of delivery in sufficient detail to facilitate explanation to clients
  5. Evidence-based policies relevant to your organisation and client group
  6. Referral systems and protocols
  7. Relevant NICE Guidelines
  8. Assessment appropriate to your chosen theoretical approach(es) and an awareness of others
  9. How to make a therapeutic contract with the client
  10. Formulation appropriate to your chosen theoretical approach(es) and an awareness of others
  11. Psychopathology appropriate to your chosen theoretical approach(es) and an awareness of others
  12. Attachment theory appropriate to your chosen theoretical approach(es) and an awareness of others
  13. Where to find and how to understand  and use critical evidence-based practice to inform best practice  with your specific client group
  14. Research evidence relating to presenting problems of clients
  15. Relevant legal, national, ethical and organisational requirements, policies and codes of practice
  16. Relevant ways of client payment including the concept of donation where appropriate
  17. Local policy on service provision
  18. Local services available
  19. Referral procedures

Performance Criteria

You must be able to do the following:

  1. access and interpret research evidence and organisational guidance about appropriate and effective treatments for particular presentations of personal difficulties
  2. provide information to clients about the recommended types of counselling for their particular presentation
  3. explain to the client how your theoretical perspective of counselling practice may help and if others may be helpful too
  4. ensure that the client is given the opportunity to choose a different  counsellor if your therapeutic perspective does not have an evidence base for their particular presenting problem
  5. facilitate and support the referral of the client if appropriate
  6. keep yourself well-informed and up-to-date about recommendations for evidence-based practice
  7. analyse and make a clear statement about the nature of the client’s core problem
  8. make an informed decision about the model or mode of counselling that would be most appropriate to help them
  9. make an informed decision about the number of sessions required in the chosen theoretical approach to treat the problem effectively
  10. make an informed decision about whether brief counselling would be appropriate if that is what your service offers
  11. explain to clients the limits of the service provision available and the implications and limitations for working with their particular presentation
  12. provide clear information to the client about the amount of counselling available
  13. explain the process of reviewing therapy at various stages if an open-ended contract is deemed to be appropriate
  14. provide clear information to clients about any costs related to the proposed counselling
  15. provide clear information to clients about how the ending will be negotiated

Additional Information

This National Occupational Standard was developed by Skills for Health.

This standard links with the following dimension within the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (October 2004):

Dimension: HWB6 Assessment and treatment planning
MH98 Prepare, discuss and agree a plan for counselling therapy
Final version approved June 2010 © copyright Skills For Health
For competence management tools visit tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk
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