Psychology research team wins BACP Outstanding Research Award 2023

  • Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Roehampton’s ETHOS research team have been awarded the BACP Outstanding Research Award 2023, for the ETHOS project, “Counselling versus Treatment as Usual for Psychological Distress in Adolescents in Schools: Individually Randomised Controlled Trial."

Image - Psychology research team wins BACP Outstanding Research Award 2023

Image: Rebecca Kirkbride, Mick Cooper, and Charlie Duncan (left to right)

The study's key finding revealed that participants who engaged in counselling reported significantly less psychological distress than those who did not receive such intervention, even 12 weeks after the initial assessment. Notably, these differences remained consistent across various factors, such as gender, age, and ethnicity. However, the disparities between the two groups were relatively modest, amounting to approximately two points on the 'Young Person's CORE (YP-CORE)' scale measuring psychological distress, which ranges from 0 to 40.

Professor Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling Psychology at the University of Roehampton, emphasized the collaborative nature of the project: "ETHOS was a real team project with many different groups of people involved. That included counsellors, testers, school staff, raters, and our young participants. The dedication, commitment, and goodwill of all these individuals made ETHOS the success it was. It was a pleasure and privilege for us, at the University of Roehampton, to lead this work."

Clare Symons, Head of Research at BACP expressed her delight in bestowing the award, saying, “It was a pleasure to make this award in recognition of the excellence of the ETHOS trial. The independent peer review panel commented particularly on the ambition and impact of the research and its significant contribution to the evidence base for the effectiveness of school-based counselling. Undertaking research of this magnitude in counselling and psychotherapy is no small task but is vitally important if we are to increase provision for those who need it. Congratulations to Mick and to all the ETHOS team.”

For more detailed information on the research, visit the following link:

The trial's co-investigators included Karen Cromarty, Peter Pearce, Charlie Duncan, Michael Barkham, Dave Saxon, Peter Bower, Jeni Beecham, Stephanie Smith, and Gayle Munro, all esteemed professionals in their respective fields. The ETHOS manual was expertly composed by Rebecca Kirkbride, who currently serves at BACP. Megan Stafford, who managed the trial, now oversees our MA in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, with support from Tiffany Rameswari and Gemma Ryan.