INTRODUCING UNGUIDED COMPUTERIZED SOLUTION-FOCUSED SELF-HELP INTO UNIVERSITY COUNSELING SERVICES
Background. Growing number of students with mental health problems and relatively high number of students in need not receiving help prompt university counseling centers to look for alternative means to be used alongside with the traditional counseling. Self-help is considered as one of the most promising options. Striving to expand student counseling services at Psychology Clinic at Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania), the unguided computerized solution-focused self-help program was developed by the article authors and put on service in 2014. The Program invites a user to take a virtual “space journey” visiting several planets each introducing a different solution-focused theme, and helps to seek positive changes in a wide range of life areas and difficulties.
Aim. The aim of this article is to present the initial results on the Program’s potential to help university students in overcoming difficulties and improving psycho-social functioning, and to discuss the benefits of the introduction of the Program into the counseling services at Vytautas Magnus University.
Methods. Subjective 10-point scales and standardized (OQ-45.2) measures were applied at the initial and the final evaluations with one month in-between.
Results. The data of 24 students, who went through the entire Program, were analyzed showing that the Program attracted more students in need than the face-to-face counseling, was useful and positively evaluated by the participants, suggesting that computerized self-help tools based on strengths-oriented approaches and addressing a wide range of issues have the potential to make the psychological help more accessible for students as well as cost and time efficient for university counseling centers.
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