The needs of clients coming to counselling following second harm: a Q methodology study

Kenward, Linda ORCID logo ORCID: , Whiffin, Charlotte and Townend, Michael (2023) The needs of clients coming to counselling following second harm: a Q methodology study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 23 (2). pp. 404-416. Full text not available from this repository.

(Contact the author)
Official URL:


Abstract: Second harm is the added psychological distress from an inadequate response by healthcare providers in response to medical errors or neglect. This inadequate response may require patients to seek counselling. The counselling needs of patients who have experienced second harm have received limited research attention. This Q methodology study addresses this gap in knowledge in order to further inform counselling practice.

Methods: Participants sorted 42 pre-determined statements online followed by interviews to establish the rationale for the sorting pattern choices. Data from the online sort were analysed using factor analysis to establish the viewpoints expressed. The interview data added to the interpretation of the viewpoints.

Findings: Through a factor analysis, two ‘viewpoints’ and 11 counselling needs were identified. Nine of these needs were generic to the counselling relationship and two specific to second harm. This study concluded that people seeking counselling following second harm have needs beyond those expected from a general counselling relationship. These included not being blamed for what happened and a need for the counsellor to be able to demonstrate that they are able to understand the impact of harm.

Implications for practice: The needs identified in this study as being generic can give counsellors confidence in working with clients that have experienced second harm, knowing that many of the needs identified are not unique. Counsellors can also be confident that those needs that are unique can be understood through extending their knowledge of the topic and listening to those that have been harmed.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1746-1405
Departments: Institute of Health > Nursing
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2021 10:36
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 12:41
Edit Item