Doctor in Counselling
MSc (Econ) Industrial Relations
PG Diploma in Evidence Based Psychological Practice (CPD)
Diploma in Counselling
BA (hons) Economics
Sheila Spong is Deputy Head of the School of Psychology and Therapeutic Studies. Before taking up this post she was a practicing counsellor, and taught for many years on counselling and psychotherapy courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, across integrative and cognitive behavioural approaches.
Sheila joined the University as Senior Lecturer in Counselling and taught on the PG Diploma in Counselling. She achieved her Professional Doctorate in Counselling in 2005, and later broadened her training, teaching and practice to include cognitive behavioural therapy.
Sheila’s focus on enhancing the relationship between teaching, research and practice led her to pioneer the introduction of counselling clinics at the University, and more recently to drive the development of the Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
Sheila worked as a counsellor for more than 25 years, in social services, alcohol and drug services, employee assistance programmes and private practice. Her practice draws primarily on cognitive behavioural, humanistic, and motivational interviewing approaches.
Harries, I and Spong, S. (2017) How the working environment of the secondary school impacts on what school-based counsellors require from their supervision. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 17 (2), 148-156.
Waters, R. and Spong, S. (2016) Carers’ beliefs about counselling: A community participatory study in Wales. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. 2016 1-13.
Spong, S. and Waters, R. (2015) Community-based participatory research in counselling and psychotherapy. European Journal for Counselling and Psychotherapy 17 (1), 5-20.
Mulcahy, J. and Spong, S. (2014) Counselling and Other Services. E-learning session for Counselling MindEd. London: BACP [available at https://www.minded.org.uk/totara/program/view.php?id=42]
Spong, S. and Mulcahy, J.* (2014) Counselling and Specialist CAMHS. E-learning session for Counselling MindEd., London: BACP [available at https://www.minded.org.uk/totara/program/view.php?id=42]
Spong, S., Dowd, C., Waters, R. and Jackson, C (July 2013) Scoping Study of the Relationship between Specialist CAMHS and Counselling for Children and Young People. Report for BACP. [available at: http://counsellingminded.com/scoping-reports/ ]
Spong, S (2012) Validity, vision and vocalisation: social responsibility arguments and power-sensitised counselling. Psychotherapy and Politics International.
Spong, S (2012) The challenge of prejudice: counsellors’ talk about challenging clients’ prejudices. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. Available online: 16 Jan 2012
Hill, A., Cooper, M., Pybis, J., Cromarty, K., Pattison, S., Spong, S., Dowd, C., Leahy, C., Couchman, A., Rogers, J., Smith, K., and Maybanks, N. (2011) Evaluating the Welsh School-based Counseling Strategy: Final Report. Cardiff: Welsh Government Social Research 23/2011
Spong, S. (2011) How to design and conduct research interviews. Information Sheet. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy: Rugby.
Spong, S (2010) Discourse analysis: rich pickings for counsellors and therapists. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. March 2010. 10: 1 pages 67 – 74
Spong, S (2008) Constructing feminist counselling: ‘Equality’ as a discursive resource in counsellors’ talk. Psychotherapy and Politics International 6(2): 118 – 132.
Spong S (2007). Ideas of influence: counsellors and their influence on their clients. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling 35: 3 331-346
Spong, S (2007) Scepticism and belief: unravelling the relationship between theory and practice in counselling and psychotherapy. Chapter in: Smith, S.R. (ed) Applying Theory to Policy and Practice: Issues for Policy Analysts and Critical Reflection. Aldershot: Ashgate
Spong S and Hollanders H (2005) Cognitive counsellors’ constructions of social power. Psychotherapy and Politics International. 3:1
Spong S and Hollanders H (2003) Cognitive therapy and social power. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 3: 216-22.
Spong S (2009) Review of House and Loewenthal (2008) ‘Against and for CBT: towards a constructive dialogue?’ Psychotherapy and Politics International. 7:2 pages 222-224
Spong S (2006). Review of Mahrer, A (2005) Why Do Research in Psychotherapy? An Introduction to a Revolution. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research 6:4.
Waters, R., Spong, S., Morgan, J. and Kemp-Philp, C. (2016) Counselling for carers: a qualitative study of carers’ beliefs and expectations. Paper delivered at BACP Research Conference, Brighton , May 20, 2016.
Spong, S , Waters, Dowd and Jackson (2014) Counselling and Specialist CAMHS – a special relationship? Paper delivered at BACP Research Conference, London , May16, 2014.
Spong, S. and Waters, R. (2014) Developing a Community Participatory Research Project with Carers in a Counselling Research Clinic. Paper delivered at BACP Research Conference, London , May16, 2014.
Spong, S. (2013) Community engaged research in a counselling research clinic: first steps. Paper delivered at the Society for Psychotherapy Research Conference, Oxford, September 14, 2013
Spong, S. and Davies, E. (2013) Differing discourses / shared commitment: counsellors and teachers discussing a primary school counselling service. Paper delivered at BACP Research Conference, Birmingham, May 11, 2013.
Spong, S, Hubena, B., Mulcahy, J., Spencer, L. (2013) Community-based counselling research: piloting a research / practice infrastructure to meet local needs. Poster presented at BACP Research Conference, Birmingham, May11, 2013.
Spong, S. and Waters, R. (2013) Community-engaged research in a counselling research clinic: first steps. Keele Counselling Conference, University of Keele, 16/3/13.
Spong, S. and Waters, R. (2013) Developing a pragmatic model of community-engaged research in a counselling research clinic. Mental Health Research Network Cymru, National Conference, 7/3/13, Wrexham.
Spong, S. and Cromarty, K. (2012) Implementing the Welsh Government strategy for provision of school-based counselling: four case studies. BACP Research Conference, Edinburgh, May 2012.
Spong, S. Mulcahy, J and Hubena, B. (2011) Community based counselling service: developing a research / practice infrastructure to meet local needs. Poster presented at the Community Engaged Research in Wales Conference, Cardiff, November 2011.
Spong, S (2011) Developing a counselling research clinic in Wales. Interactive paper delivered at NCCPR Annual Conference, Caerleon November 19th 2011.
Spong, S, Hubena, B and Mulcahy, J (2011) Community based counselling service: developing a research / practice infrastructure to meet local needs. Poster delivered at Practicing Community Engaged Research in Wales Conference, Millennium Centre, Cardiff 31/10/11. (ESRC/ University of Glamorgan)
Spong, S (2011) Discussing the co-construction of meaning in therapy. Poster delivered at BACP Research Conference, Liverpool, May 2011
Spong, S (2010) Validity, vision and vocalisation: social responsibility arguments in counselling talk. Paper delivered at BACP Research Conference, London, May 2010
Spong, Sheila (2009) The challenge of prejudice. Paper delivered at NCCR Annual Conference, Caerleon, November 2009
Spong, S. (2009). Individualism and social responsibility in counselling discourses. Paper delivered at the 5th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois Champaign, U.S.A., May 2009.
Davies, Margaret and Spong, Sheila (2008) Online Counselling: What do therapists think? Workshop at NCCR Annual Conference, Caerleon, November 22nd 2008.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (registered; accredited)
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists
Higher Education Academy
Society for Psychotherapy Research
Public Engagement Activities and Esteem Indicators
Sheila was a member of the panel which developed the original Subject Benchmarks for Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has worked with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy on several projects including research into school based counselling and the development of the Counselling MIndEd resources.
Sheila’s work in the setting up and operation of the University’s Community Counselling Service (now USW Therapy) facilitated a closer co-operation between the University and the local community. As well as providing a service to local people, NCCS exported awareness and knowledge about counselling research into local agencies and other services by providing a clear model of evaluation and research, and by providing postgraduate students with experience of practical engagement with developing practice-based evidence.
Sheila has been external examiner for courses at the University of Plymouth, University of Warwick and most recently for the Masters/ Doctoral framework in Psychotherapy at Dublin City University.
Expertise or Interest
Sheila’s research interests include community partipatory research, counselling children and young people, power and influence in counselling and discourse analysis.She was responsible for the research of Newport Community Community Service, a counselling research clinic combining the provision of counselling with the development of a research infrastructure to facilitate a range of projects to help understand the process and outcomes of change. .
The Newport University Community Counselling Service was funded by the Big Lottery, the Kegie Foundation, and the University.
The evaluation of the Welsh Strategy for School-based Counselling was funded by the Welsh Government.
The evaluation of the Newport Primary Schools Counselling Project was funded by Newport City Council.
Sheila Spong is currently supervising three Doctoral students on topics relating to counselling children and young people.
She has very extensive experience of supervising Masters students’ dissertations for a number of courses in the counselling and consultative supervision subject areas.
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