Public understanding of counsellors and counselling in Hong Kong

  • Yu K
  • Fu W
  • Zhao X
 et al. 
  • 7

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

This paper describes the findings of a survey of public understanding of counselling in Hong Kong. The survey questions focused on experiences and preferences of counselling; perceived benefits and drawbacks of counselling; and accreditation and approachability of counsellors. The findings revealed that the majority of respondents did not know a counsellor, had not experienced counselling, and were not willing to do so. Half of the respondents were not willing to pay for a counselling session. This lack of appreciation also extended to other health and caring professions. The possible reasons for this finding are discussed. On a more positive note, respondents perceived numerous benefits of counselling, including personal assistance and support; problem solving; and helping to relieve emotional tension. Counsellors were regarded as approachable and effective. Most respondents reported that counsellors should be registered members of government-approved associations, and have undergraduate and professional training, which calls for more involvement of professional associations. Overall, our findings show that, whilst the public recognize the benefits of counselling and identify a need for it, there is limited understanding. This confirms the tough reality that the counselling profession in Hong Kong is still in an early stage of development and faces a number of challenges. The next step is to use our findings to identify opportunities and devise strategies to remedy some of these issues.
This paper describes the findings of a survey of public understanding of counselling in Hong Kong. The survey questions focused on experiences and preferences of counselling; perceived benefits and drawbacks of counselling; and accreditation and approachability of counsellors. The findings revealed that the majority of respondents did not know a counsellor, had not experienced counselling, and were not willing to do so. Half of the respondents were not willing to pay for a counselling session. This lack of appreciation also extended to other health and caring professions. The possible reasons for this finding are discussed. On a more positive note, respondents perceived numerous benefits of counselling, including personal assistance and support; problem solving; and helping to relieve emotional tension. Counsellors were regarded as approachable and effective. Most respondents reported that counsellors should be registered members of government-approved associations, and have undergraduate and professional training, which calls for more involvement of professional associations. Overall, our findings show that, whilst the public recognize the benefits of counselling and identify a need for it, there is limited understanding. This confirms the tough reality that the counselling profession in Hong Kong is still in an early stage of development and faces a number of challenges. The next step is to use our findings to identify opportunities and devise strategies to remedy some of these issues.

Author-supplied keywords

  • china
  • counselling
  • hong kong
  • mental health
  • public attitudes

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Authors

  • Kai-Ching Calvin Yu

  • Wai Fu

  • Xiang Zhao

  • Gareth Davey

  • Calvin Kai-Ching Yu

  • Wai Fu

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free