Welcome to...


Did you know your Internet Explorer is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.

Just click on the icons to get to the download page

If you understand that your browser is inadequate but you still wish to view the site click here

Community Engagement for Mental Health Research Group (CE4ME)

 Community Engagement for Mental Health Research Group (CE4ME)

Chair:       Dr Peter Pearce

Members: Dr Evi Chryssafidou

                Jane Reese

                Helen-Jane Ridgeway

                Dr Biljana van Rijn

                Dr Joel Vos

                Claire Williamson



The Community Engagement for Mental Health Research Group seeks:-

  • to examine how expertise from psychotherapy and counselling practice and research can have broader reach to impact community mental health
  • to focus on individuals / groups who are less likely to access and make use of traditional therapy settings
  • to include projects that develop and evaluate psychotherapeutic interventions in these communities along with applications of psychotherapeutic ideas by allied professionals, community services and volunteers
  • to have social justice as a core theme

Psychotherapists and counsellors have traditionally focused on helping individuals with their mental health concerns within the settings of mental health services, such as community clinics, psychiatric wards and hospitals. However, in the last decades, and against the backdrop of humanitarian crisis, virus pandemic, and large treatment gap for psychological distress and mental disorders, equity and access have become increasingly important and mental health professional and services have strived to move into everyday community settings such as schools and community centres and related professionals and volunteers, such as teachers, community support staff, and youth workers are increasingly being expected to work with young people and adults whose mental health is affected by social exclusion or humanitarian crisis.

The output of research and development of this group is applicable in community settings, particularly to individuals in groups who are less likely to use traditional psychotherapy settings, such as refugees and immigrants, women suffering from domestic and cultural oppression, children and young people, elderly people, and, more generally individuals in adverse socio-economic circumstances, and Black and Asian Minority Ethnicity groups.


Current projects:

AMORAY: Assessment of Mental Health of Refugees and Asylum seekers by Youth Workers (2019-2021). https://amoray-project.eu/  Erasmus + Program, Key Action 2 Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices.
Funding: €214,604.
Metanoia Institute is Project coordinator.
Project leader at Metanoia: Dr Evi Chryssafidou.

This project develops a training curriculum for youth workers who work with young migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, France, Spain and Greece. It aims to acknowledge the role youth workers play and upskill them in mental health assessment and prevention, in understanding trauma and vicarious traumatisation, and in developing strategies in collaborating with mental health practitioners and in self-care. The training will be evaluated in four countries.

HEROINES: Empowerment of women with mental illness living in rural areas through writing therapy (2019-2021). https://www.heroines-project.eu/  Erasmus + Program, Key Action 2, Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices.
Funding: €198,604
Metanoia Institute is one of Principal investigators
Project leader at Metanoia: Claire Williamson.

MENTAL HEALTH IN CRISIS. This project reviews how mental health is influenced by socio-economic crises and examines why mental health services are failing in offering efficient services. Particular attention is given to the role of mental health care in communities
Project leader: Dr Joel Vos.

YOUR CHOICE ; A London-wide £10 million, 3-year programme (beginning 2022-2025) to address  violence-reduction approaches to effectively support children and young people affected by extra-familial violence and related harms.  

Your Choice seeks to fill a practice gap by moving beyond understanding why a child may behave in a certain way to providing tools and techniques which practitioners can employ to help the child to keep themselves safe. Any child aged between 11-17 years old who is assessed as medium or high risk of harm / vulnerability as a result of extra-familial harm and has been considered by a multi-agency panel can participate in Your Choice.

Metanoia are partnering with Ealing LA for the borough arm of this project

Project leader at Metanoia:  Dr Peter Pearce


Recent research output:


Beecham, J. & Pearce, P. (2018) Cost-effectiveness of school-based humanistic counselling for psychological distress in young people: pilot randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 47:4, 460-471, DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2018.1552777https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03069885.2018.1552777

Cooper, M., R Stafford, M., Saxon, D., Beecham, J., Bonin, E., Barkham, M., Bower, P., Cromarty, K., Duncan, C., Pearce, P., Rameswari, T., Ryan, G.  (2021) Humanistic counselling plus pastoral care as usual versus pastoral care as usual for the treatment of psychological distress in adolescents in UK state schools (ETHOS): a randomised controlled trial

The Lancet Child and Adolescent Mental Health Volume 5, Issue 3, P178-189, March 01, 2021 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(20)30363-1/fulltext

Cooper, M., Fugard, A., J. B., Pybis, J., McArthur, K. & Pearce, P. (2015) Estimating effectiveness of school-based counselling: Using data from controlled trials to predict improvement over non-intervention change. Counselling & Psychotherapy Research, 15(4), pp 262-273 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/capr.12017/full

Hamilton, F. (2022) LAPIDUS International Research and Innovation Community (LIRIC) Journal (In Press)

Pearce, P., Sewell, R. & Cromarty, K. (2018) School and education settings. In: Pattison, S., Robson, M. and Beynon, A. (eds.) Handbook of counselling children and young people. (Second Edition) London: BACP and Sage Publications

Pearce, P., Sewell, R. & Proud, G. (2018) Groupwork. In: Pattison, S., Robson, M. and Beynon, A. (eds.) Handbook of counselling children and young people (Second Edition) London: BACP and Sage Publications

Pearce, P., Sewell, R., Cooper, M., Osman, S., Fugard, J. B. & Pybis, J., (2017) Effectiveness of school-based humanistic counselling for psychological distress in young people. Psychology and Psychotherapy, Theory, Research and Practice https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Pearce2

Pearce, P., Sewell, R. & Cromarty, K. (2014) School and education settings. In: Pattison, S., Robson, M. and Beynon, A. (eds.) Handbook of counselling children and young people. London: BACP and Sage Publications, pp 415-426

Pearce, P., Sewell, R. & Proud, G. (2014) Groupwork. In: Pattison, S., Robson, M. and Beynon, A. (eds.) Handbook of counselling children and young people London: BACP and Sage Publications, pp 212-228

Pearce, P. (2014) Forty Years on from Rogers' APA Address, ‘Some New Challenges for the Helping Professions’. Self & Society, 41(2), pp 38-44 https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Peter_Pearce2

Pearce, P. & Sommerbeck, L. eds. (2014) Person-Centred Practice at the Difficult Edge. Ross-on-Wye, England: PCCS Books. http://www.pccs-books.co.uk/products/diffult-edge/#.U_YfgvldWL0

Rose Stafford, M., Cooper, M., Barkham, M., Beecham, J., Bower, P., Cromarty, K., Fugard, A., Jackson, C., Pearce, P., Ryder, R. & Street, C. (2018). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of humanistic counselling in schools for young people with emotional distress (ETHOS): Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials. 19 (1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323671419_Effectiveness_and_cost-effectiveness_of_humanistic_counselling_in_schools_for_young_people_with_emotional_distress_ETHOS_Study_protocol_for_a_randomised_controlled_trial

Vos, J., Roberts, R. & Davies, J. (2019). Mental health in crisis. SAGE: London.