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In 1976, a group practice in South Oxfordshire established a counselling service. The counsellor is available in the health centre for three half-day sessions per week, and we describe a survey of the subjective and objective effects of counselling on the first 80 patients who used this service. There was an improvement, as measured by the feelings of the patients and doctors, and by some reduction of psychotropic drugs and medical consultations. The majority of the patients who returned the questionnaires said they preferred to see the counsellor rather than the general practitioner for their problem.