The Young People's Consultation Service (YPCS) is a four‐session, self‐referral, psychodynamically‐oriented psychotherapeutic consultation service for young people aged between 16 and 30, at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London. Aim: It was hypothesized that clients would show an improvement on outcome measures at the end of the four sessions. It was also hoped that the data would identify characteristics of the clients who show the most benefit. Method: A review of the case‐notes of all clients attending the service between January 2003 to April 2006 was carried out, and details were entered into a database, including demographic information, presenting issues and attendance. Clients were given the Youth Self‐Report form (YSR) (Achenbach, 1991) or the Young Adult Self Report form (YASR) (Achenbach, 1997), according to age, before the start of the intervention and at the end of the four sessions. Outcome data were analysed, comparing pre‐ and post‐treatment scores on the YSR/YASR. Results: A total of 236 clients attended the service during the study period. Pre‐ to post‐comparison data on the YSR/YASR was available for 24 clients. Of those, YSR/YASR scores reduced significantly on all subscales and severity reduced over time in all cases. In addition, there was a trend towards moving from the clinical to the non‐clinical range, reaching statistical significance on the Internalizing and Total subscales. A number of YPCS clients showed both statistically significant and clinical improvement on the Internalizing and Externalizing scales of the YSR/YASR, with a greater number showing improvement on the Internalizing scale. Conclusions: Improvements were found on all subscales of the YSR/YASR at the end of the four session intervention. A greater number of clients showed improvement on the Internalizing subscale, suggesting that this form of very brief psychotherapy is most effective for clients with emotional problems
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