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An audit was conducted of a counsellor's work over the period 1989-1993 at two general practice surgeries in Coventry. Comparative data were available for general practitioner (GP)-referred patients seen in the district clinical psychology department in Coventry during 1988-1992. The counsellor saw significantly more patients referred with anxiety, depression, marital problems, child management and physical illness than did psychologists, whilst psychologists saw significantly more patients with relationship problems and personality disorders. To the question, 'Are these services effective?' the answer is yes, both services are effective, but they are treating different patient populations.