Clinical Counselling in Voluntary and Community Settings

By Quentin Stimpson | Go to book overview

Chapter 4

Research: the impetus for, and the measure of good practice

A case study from the voluntary sector
Linda MachinThis chapter uses the example of a voluntary bereavement counselling agency-Bereavement Care in North Staffordshire-to demonstrate the dynamic link between research and practice. Four themes will be used to examine this topic:
1 The role of research in service delivery-counselling and therapy.
2 The role of research in the establishment and growth of a voluntary organisation-Bereavement Care.
3 The organisational agendas created by a commitment to research.
4 Two examples of research and their relationship to practice.

Role of research in service delivery-counselling and therapy
Traditionally there has been a divide between researchers and practitioners: the former having an academic concern to understand and analyse phenomena; the latter desiring direct participation with people and their experience. It is perhaps as qualitative research has begun to have an academic credibility and the activities of research and practice have come closer to using similar tools of engagement with their subjects that more practitioners have seen the purpose of research. McLeod (1993) identifies a wide range of areas which link research with practice:
• elements which may relate to the concerns of an individual practitioner, e.g. letting colleagues know about particular interesting cases or innovations;
• issues of concern to an organisation, e.g. demonstrating to a funding agency the effectiveness of the service being offered;

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