Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology

Synopsis

Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Second Edition, is written and designed for graduate students in the psychology and counseling fields, for whom the value of psychological research is not always readily apparent. Contributed to by experts in their respective fields, this text presents research as an indispensable tool for practice, a tool that is used every day to advance knowledge and improve assessment, treatment choice, and client outcomes. The book is divided into four logical parts: Research Foundations, Research Strategies, Research Practice, and finally, Special Problems. Included is a chapter that addresses one of the most important controversies, the distinction between realistic and "gold standard" efficacy studies. The remainder of the book addresses salient issues such as conducting research in various cultures, operating an empirically-oriented practice, and performing research with families, children, and the elderly. Students and professors will find the coverage ample and penetrating, without being too overwhelming.

Excerpt

Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, Second Edition, is a result of our experiences in teaching and working with students in professional psychology and counseling over many years. Although virtually all graduate programs require a course on research, the basis for that requirement is often shrouded in mystery to many students. They enter their graduate training with the admirable ambition of learning skills important for assisting clients to make changes. Although practice may be somehow loosely based on research, for those students, the connection is not clear, and the value of psychological research is not readily apparent. In preparing this book, we set out to create a text that presents research as an indispensable tool for practice.

There are illustrations of how research can improve practice throughout the text. Such improvement can be seen in better assessment, treatment choice, and, most importantly, client outcomes. Research in clinical areas is fascinating, invigorating, and fulfilling to do, but it gains value when it brings about better practice. Practitioners need to know how to utilize research findings and to communicate with researchers what new knowledge is most needed. Our intent is this text builds these basic skills.

This is an edited text. We invited authors who we know to be experts in both psychological research and practice to contribute chapters in their particular areas of expertise. This has the advantage of each topic being presented by authors who are experienced in applying the concepts presented in the chapter and are enthusiastic about how that information can be used by both a practitioner and a researcher. Readers can be sure that the techniques described in this book are used every day to advance knowledge and practice in psychology. The information may at times be complex, but it is never only of interest in the ivory tower. The book reflects research in the real world.

This book is divided into four parts. Part I, Research Foundations, contains four chapters that form the basis for understanding the material in the rest of the book. Part II, Research Strategies, consists of five chapters covering the most important research strategies in clinical and counseling psychology. Each of these chapters includes an illustration and analysis of a study using that strategy, explaining the important decision points encountered by the researcher and, also, how the results of the study can be used to inform practice. Part III, Research Practice, consists of three chapters covering issues related to actually doing planning, and interpreting research and research literature. Finally, Part IV, Special Problems, includes six chapters. Chapter 13, addresses one of the most important controversies in mental health research . . .

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