Podium Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Individual Relationships Counselling Effectiveness in an Australian Counselling Organisation (#179)

Yuan Cao 1
  1. Relationships Australia (Queensland), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Internationally there is a dearth of evidence about the effectiveness of individual relationship-focused counselling in improving client outcomes and an understanding of variables that may be associated with improvements in individual counselling outcomes. This current research gap results in limited guidance and support for practitioners when working with clients who have relationship difficulties but present individually to counselling. With this background in mind, the current presentation will share findings from an Australian National longitudinal study of individuals attending relationships counselling at a not-for-profit organisation. Results from multilevel modelling suggested a reduction in psychological distress from pre-counselling to 4-month follow-up, with a moderate effect size, confirming a beneficial role of relationship counselling in reducing individual psychological distress. Contributors of this positive outcome included a good therapeutic alliance in counselling sessions and having a good couple and familial functioning in daily life. Results therefore highlight the bidirectional relationship between individual functioning and positive relationships. The implications of these findings will be discussed.