Being a professional counsellor equips you with lots of practical knowledge; you are, however, required to perform a demanding research project as part of requirements for your qualifying programme of study. Need advice on academic writing or research design? Contact us to discuss your project.
Example of mini project proposal
Collaborative working in mental health & personal change
Collaboration appears to be a new trend in mental health which has been adopted by the NHS in different ways. Multi-disciplinary teams were introduced to allow holistic care (Cronqvist, 2013), and third parties including both companies and charities are working alongside NHS. To be more precise, NHS atarted to recruit third party services which was not possible before (Dickinson, 2012; Dowling, 2006). Even though collaboration plays an essential and growing role in modern healthcare, it is quite a new framework which needs to be explored.
According to the BioPsychoSocial theory, mental health cannot be assessed by purely psychological means or by using the medical model in psychiatric settings. Mental health and disease cannot be reduced to psychiatric definitions and diagnostic criteria. Personal circumstances including social environment and support, cultural and religion, profession and lifestyle play a significant role in mental health. So do personal and professional aspirations and job prospects. Whereas psychiatrists normally have no more than 10 minutes per patient, counsellors, counselling psychologists and psychological wellbeing practitioners can provide longer sessions to actually talk to patients instead of merely filling the forms and confirming diagnoses. Social workers, on the other hand, may look into the concrete social environment and professional chances in order to see if there is a possibility to reduce stress and introduce change from the social perspective. However, it is really difficult to coordinate professionals with different backgrounds and optimize the output at the same time.
The proposed project will explore communication, supervision and perceived outcomes of different professionals in mental health settings. The idea is to introduce change by being able to gain insight into other team players’ perspectives. Instead of using continuing education to gain some formal knowledge of neighbouring fields to be able to better understand the standpoint of team colleagues, each team member will partner with one of their team colleagues to daily exchange their expeiences. Formal meetings where essential information is being exchanged will be supported by more explorative conversations with a colleague coming from a completely different background. That will allow to leave behind formal professional cliches, and allow different team members to better understand their choices, judgments and conclusions. Each pair will discuss concrete cases they work on, as well as other issues as diagnostic measures, approach to therapeutic interventions and the way one assesses patient’s progress and prognosis. Arranging such a semi-formal communication is meant to not allow any professional views to be dominating which is often times the case in practice. For instance, in psychiatric hospitals where the medical model is prevailing, counsellors or psychologists with holistic views will not really be very influential. In the settings of multi-disciplinary teams, however, the dialogue between different professions is possible to achieve.
This qualitative study will explore the ways of achieving change through communication with colleagues from different backgrounds.
Dickinson, H., Allen, K., Alcock, P., Macmillan, R. & Glasby, J. (2012). The role of the third sector in delivering social care. Report of NIHR School for Social Care Research. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.
Dowling, S., Manthorpe, J., & Cowley, S. (2006). Person-centred planning in social carew: A scoping review. London: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.