INTRODUCING UNGUIDED COMPUTERIZED SOLUTION-FOCUSED SELF-HELP INTO UNIVERSITY COUNSELING SERVICES

  • Viktorija Čepukienė Vytautas Magnus University
  • Rytis Pakrosnis Vytautas Magnus University
Keywords: university student counseling; computerized self-help; solution-focused approach

Abstract

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.

References

ACHA. (2010). American College Health Association Consideration for Integration of Counseling and Health Services on College and University Campuses. Journal of American College Health, 58(6), 583–596.

Baguley, C., Farrand, P., Hope, R., Leibowitz, J., Lovell, K., Lucock, M., O’Neill, C., Paxton, R., Pilling, S., Richards, D., Turpin, G., White, J., & Williams, C. (2010). Good Practice Guidance on the Use of Self-Help Materials Within IAPT Services. Technical Report. IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies), Retrieved from: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/9017/

Berger, H., Franke, G. H., Hofmann, F. H., Sperth, M., & Holm-Hadulla, R. M. (2015). Mental Health of Students and Its Development Between 1994 and 2012. Mental Health & Prevention, 3, 48–56. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mhp.2015.01.001

Berger, T., Hammerli, K., Gubser, N., Andersson, G., & Caspar, F. (2011). Internet-Based Treatment of Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Guided with Unguided Self-Help. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 40 (4), 251–266. doi: 10.1080/16506073.2011.616531

Bunevicius, A., Katkute, A., & Bunevicius, R. (2008). Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Medical Students and in Humanities Students: Relationship with Big-Five Personality Dimensions and Vulnerability to Stress. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 54(6), 494–501. doi: 10.1177/0020764008090843

Cavanagh, K., & Millings, A. (2013). (Inter)personal Computing: The Role of the Therapeutic Relationship in E-Mental Health. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-013-9242-z

Cavanagh, K., Strauss, C., Cicconi, F., Griffiths, N., Wyper, A., & Jones, F. (2013). A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Brief Online Mindfulness-Based Intervention. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 573–578. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2013.06.003

Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M., & Farrer, L. (2009). Adherence in Internet Interventions for Anxiety and Depression: Systematic Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 11(2), e13. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1194

Davies, E. B., Morriss, R., & Glazebrook, C. (2014). Computer-Delivered and Web-Based Interventions to Improve Depression, Anxiety, and Psychological Well-Being of University Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16 (5), pp. e130. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3142

Day, V., McGrath, P. J., & Wojtowicz, M. (2013). Internet-Based Guided Self-Help for University Students With Anxiety, Depression and Stress: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 51, 344–351. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2013.03.003

DeShazer, S., Dolan, Y., Korman, H., Trepper, T., McCollumn, E., & Berg, I. K. (2007). More Than Miracles: The State of the Art of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. NY:Routledge. p.177.

European Union for School and University Health and Medicine (EUSUHM). (2007). The Tampere Declaration on Student Health Care in Europe. Retrieved from: http://www.eusuhm.org/documents/EUSUHM2007TampereDeclaration.pdf

Gingerich, W. J., Kim, J. S., Stams, G., & Macdonald, A. J. (2011). Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Outcome Research. In C. Franklin, T. Trepper, E. MCollum, & W. Gingerich (Eds.), Solution-focused brief therapy: A Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice (p. 95-111). New York: Oxford University Press.

Grant, A. M. (2012). Making Positive Change: A Randomized Study Comparing Solution-Focused VS. Problem-Focused Coaching Questions. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(2), 21–35. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/jsyt.2012.31.2.21

Harrar, W. R., Affsprung, E. H., & Long, J. C. (2010). Assessing Campus Counseling Needs. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 24, 233–240. doi:10.1080/87568225.2010.486303

Jonušienė, D. (2014). Psichikos sveikatos problema studijų procese [On the Problem of Mental Health in Study Process]. Tiltai, 4, 115–125. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.15181/tbb.v68i4.954

Katzensteiner, M., Ferrer-Sama, P., & Rott, G. (Eds.). (2008). Guidance and Counseling in Higher Education in European Union Member States. University of Arhus, Arhus. Retrieved from: https://www.uhr.se/globalassets/syv/webbibliotek/utbildning-och-arbetsliv/guidance-and-counselling-fedora.pdf

Kress, V., Sperth, M., Hofmann, F. H., & Holm-Hadulla, R. M. (2015). Psychological Complaints of Students: A Comparison of Field Samples with Clients of a Counseling Service at a Typical German University. Mental Health & Prevention, 3, 41–47. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mhp.2015.04.002

Lambert, M. J., Burlingame, G. M., Umphress, V., Hansen, N. B., Yancher, S. C., Vermeersch, D., & Clouse, G. C. (1996). The Reliability and Validity of a New Psychotherapy Outcome Questionnaire. Clinical psychology and Psychotherapy, 3(4), 249–258. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0879(199612)3:4<249::AID-CPP106>3.0.CO;2S

Lenhard, W. & Lenhard, A. (2016). Calculation of Effect Sizes. Available at: https://www.psychometrica.de/effect_size.html. Dettelbach (Germany): Psychometrica. doi: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3478.4245

Lintvedt, O. K. (2013). Unguided Internet-Based Self-Help for Symptoms of Depression. A Translation Project: From Planning and Establishing the Efficacy to Dissemination and Cost-Benefit Evaluation. A dissertation for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor, University of Tromsø. Retrieved from: https://munin.uit.no/bitstream/handle/10037/5483/thesis.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

McKeel, J. (2011). What Works in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy. In C. Franklin,T. Trepper, E. MCollum, & W. Gingerich (Eds.), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: A Handbook of Evidence-Based Practice (p. 130–143). New York: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, N., & Dunn, K. (2007). Pragmatic Evaluation of the Viability Of CCBT Self-Help for Depression in Higher Education. Counseling and Psychotherapy Research, 7(3), 144–150. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14733140701565987

Nordberg, S. S., Hayes, J. A., McAleavey, A. A., Castonguay, L. G., & Locke, B. D. (2013). Treatment Utilization on College Campuses: Who Seeks Help for What? Journal of College Counseling, 16, 258–274. doi: 10.1002/j.21611882.2013.00041.x

Pakrosnis, R., & Cepukiene, V. (2015). Solution-Focused Self-Help for Improving University Students’ Well-Being. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 52(4), 437–447. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2014.930352

Radhu, N., Daskalakis, Z. J., Arpin-Cribie, C. A., Irvine, J., & Ritvo, P. (2012). Evaluating a Web-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Maladaptive Perfectionism in University Students. Journal of American College Health, 60, 357–366. doi:10.1080/07448481.2011.630703

Richards, D., & Timulak, L. (2013). Satisfaction with Therapist-Delivered VS. Self-Administered Online Cognitive Behavioural Treatments for Depression Symptoms in College Students. British Journal of Guidance & Counseling, 41(2), 193–207. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2012.726347

Rozental, A., Andersson, G., Boettcher, J., Ebert, D. D., Cuijpers, P., Knaevelsrud, C., Ljótsson, B., Kaldo, V., Titov, N., & Carlbring, P. (2014). Consensus Statement on Defining and Measuring Negative Effects of Internet Interventions. Internet Interventions, 1, 12–19. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.invent.2014.02.001

Rückert, H. W. (2015). Students’ Mental Health and Psychological Counseling in Europe. Mental Health & Prevention, 3, 34–40. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mhp.2015.04.006

Sanchez-Ortz, V. C., Munro, C., Stahl, D., House, J., Startup, H., Treasure, J., et al. (2011). A Randomized Controlled Trial of Internet-Based Cognitive-Behavior for Bulimia Nervosa or Related Disorders in a Student Population. Psychological Medicine, 41, 407–417. doi: 10.1017/S0033291710000711

Tillfors, M., Carlbring, P., Furmark, T., Lewenhaupt, S., Spak, M., Eriksson, A., et al. (2008). Treating University Students with Social Phobia and Public-Speaking Fears: Internet Delivered Self-Help With or Without Live Group Exposure Sessions. Depression and Anxiety, 25, 708–717. doi: 10.1002/da.20416

Published
2019-05-05
Section
Scientific Publications