Young people's experience of counselling in community settings

As part of our national study on the effectiveness of counselling in community-based settings, an Experience of Service Questionnaire (ESQ, formerly CHI-ESQ) was conducted among young people accessing YIACS youth counselling services. This report presents an in-depth analysis of the 1,378 completed questionnaires, presenting rich qualitative data and first-hand testimonies from young people about their experience of accessing youth counselling services.

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Key findings

Young people’s experiences of Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services (YIACS) were overwhelmingly positive. During the study young people told us that:

  • they valued the accessibility and flexibility of YIACS
  • YIACS were welcoming, friendly and supportive
  • they felt listened to, understood and accepted by YIACS counsellors
  • it was the first time they had ever experienced being genuinely heard, respected and valued
  • counsellors in these settings were knowledgeable, trustworthy, creative in their approach and easy to talk to
  • the counselling they received led to long lasting and meaningful change in their lives