Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners

Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners

Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners

Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners

Synopsis

This book provides a user-friendly introduction to the qualitative methods most commonly used in the mental health and psychotherapy arena.
  • Chapters are written by leading researchers and the editors are experienced qualitative researchers, clinical trainers, and mental health practitioners
  • Provides chapter-by-chapter guidance on conducting a qualitative study from across a range of approaches
  • Offers guidance on how to review and appraise existing qualitative literature, how to choose the most appropriate method, and how to consider ethical issues
  • Demonstrates how specific methods have been applied to questions in mental health research
  • Uses examples drawn from recent research, including research with service users, in mental health practice and in psychotherapy

Excerpt

Andrew R. Thompson and David Harper

This book aims to provide a user-friendly introduction to the qualitative methods most commonly used in the mental health and psychotherapy arenas. A number of different professional groups and academic disciplines contribute to mental health care and our aim in putting together this book has been to create a text that shows how qualitative methods can generate knowledge specifically relevant to mental health and also to show how these approaches have the potential to improve practice and drive policy. We envisage this book being read by students, trainees and qualified practitioners from a variety of professions: clinical psychology; mental health nursing; social work; psychiatry; occupational therapy; family therapy; and those working in a wide variety of psychological therapies.

Mental health practitioners are used to working alongside their clients or with service users (we shall use these terms interchangeably throughout), with the aim of enhancing emotional well-being. Most will be trained to understand the phenomenon of mental distress from an individualized or idiographic perspective that acknowledges the role of social and cultural as well as biological influences upon behaviour, affect and experience. As such they will be used to ‘collecting data’ and ‘making sense of’ peoples’ complexand rich personal histories and experiences in order to deliver care and support. Indeed, as we discuss below, several therapeutic approaches have their origins in qualitative and subjective exploration.

Although caution should be expressed in naively assuming counselling and other practitioner competencies can be simply transferred into the research setting (see Thompson & Russo, in press), we believe that many of the core competencies of mental health practitioners are highly transferable. However, for many the transfer of these competencies somehow gets lost when they move between practitioner and researcher roles. Consequently, it is our core ambition with this book to help both student and

Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy: A Guide for Students and Practitioners, First Edition.
Edited by D. Harper and A.R. Thompson.

© 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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