Our Publications

Over the years XenZone has worked with academics to support theses and research into adolescent mental health


Citation: Dhesi, M. (2018). A Qualitative Study to Investigate in what ways are the Distinctive Features of Synchronous Text-based Counselling Experienced as Being Helpful and/or Unhelpful by Young People?. PsychD. University of Roehampton.

Abstract: Within the UK, there has been a growth of services delivering online counselling to young people. Many studies have identified helpful and unhelpful factors of online counselling for both adults and young people. This study expands upon this literature, by not only identifying what factors young people find helpful and unhelpful about synchronous online counselling but also how and why these factors are perceived as helpful or unhelpful. Participants were recruited through an online service in the UK that offers synchronous online counselling to 10-25 year olds. Thirteen young people, aged between 14-18 who had completed a minimum of 4 online counselling sessions with Kooth, were interviewed synchronously online, using semi structured interviews.

Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Four main themes were generated: 1. anonymity, 2. access and availability, 3. communication, and 4. control. The way in which young people perceived these as helpful and unhelpful is discussed for each. The study has several implications for practice and research. The findings can inform practice by suggesting ways in which both online and face to face services can adapt to meet the needs of young people and offers insights into further research areas which are yet to be explored. Limitations of the study included the use of one online counselling service, which may limit the transferability of the findings.

Citation: Ersahin, Z. (2015). Therapeutic Goals in Online Youth Therapy: What Goals do Young People Identify and How do Counsellors Work with Them?. DCounsPsych. University of Manchester.

Abstract: Despite the growing trend in offering online therapy to young people this area has received little attention to date. This project therefore aims to systematically explore work in this territory by investigating the types of goals that young people approach online services with, and the challenges and opportunities that online counsellors have experienced when working with them. Initially 1,137 client articulated goals which were collated by an online youth counselling service in England between December 2013 and July 2014. Secondly, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six online counsellors who have utilised a goal-based approach to therapy with young people. Both data strands were examined by utilising the Grounded Theory Methodology.

The goals young people brought into therapy were conceptualized under three core categories: (1) ‟Intra-personal goals‟, (2) ‟Inter-personal goals‟ and (3) ‟Goals on Self relating to others‟. Findings from the experience of online practitioners have provided four further core-categories: (1) ‟The impact of goals as an ingredient of the online therapy‟, (2) ‟The effect of virtual environment working towards goals‟, (3) ‟Key themes around youth goals‟, and (4) ‟The evolution of a practitioner‟s therapeutic identity‟.

Citation: Hanley, T. (2008). The Therapeutic Alliance in Online Youth Counselling. PhD. University of Manchester.

Abstract: The number of people seeking out support via the Internet is steadily increasing. In response to this growing need, counselling services have become commonplace on the Internet. This study focuses upon Kooth, one such service that has specifically been created to support adolescents. In particular, the work examines the quality of the computer-mediated Therapeutic Alliance from the viewpoint of the young users. The findings from the project indicate that the service proves popular with adolescents and that approximately three quarters (79%) of the services users who completed the TAQS (n=47) reported the Alliance to be of a medium or high quality. Additionally, the interviews (n=15) highlighted the importance of having an appropriate match between client and service in the creation of strong Alliances.

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