The effectiveness of Supportive Counselling, based on Rogerian principles: A systematic review of recent international and Australian research

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Dr Nicky Jacobs [1]  and Dr Andrea Reupert [2], Monash University, Victoria, Australia                                                                                                   


The purpose of this paper is to present a systematic literature review of the effectiveness of Supportive Counselling (SC) based on Rogerian principles.  This review of recent international (last five years) and Australian (last ten years) papers was employed using the PsycINFO, Ovid Medline, APAIS (Informit), Web of Science and Social Services Abstracts data bases.  Various terms were employed encompassing Supportive Counselling (SC) including; Person Centred Therapy (PCT), Non-Directive Supportive Therapy (NDST) and Supportive Therapy (ST). A total of 26 international papers and two Australian papers met the inclusion criteria.  Papers were grouped into (i) meta-analyses and systematic reviews (n=4) as well as papers (ii) where SC was the primary therapeutic candidate (n=10), (iii) where SC was equally compared to other therapies (n=3) and (iv) where SC was the alternative, control therapy (n= 11).  Various methodological issues were identified, primarily in the way SC was defined, implemented and compared to other therapies.  Overall, while a number of methodological issues preclude definitive claims, there is evidence to suggest that the group of therapies often referred to as supportive are effective, and equally as effective as selected other therapies, in the treatment of adult depression.  


Address for correspondence:
Dr Nicky Jacobs
Email: nicky.jacobs@monash.edu

Dr Andrea Reupert 
Email: andrea.reupert@monash.edu.au