Presented May 19, 2007, PCT Scotland Twentieth Anniversary Event)
Two Paths to Person-Centred Research: Experiential & Programmatic:
I. First Path: An Experiential Approach to PCT Research
A. An exercise:
1. Preliminary steps: Get comfortable. Approach your research hopes and fears gentlyB. Summary of the First Path:
2. Ask yourself: What is something am I curious to research about Person-Centred Therapy?
3. Wait… Take your time… See what comes to you… See what else is there that wants research…
4. Write down 1 or 2 research topics that symbolize your curiosity
•Check each research topic to make sure it fits at least part of your curiosity
•Start with your natural curiosity, derived from experience with self and othersII. The Second Path to PCT Research:
•Describe your curiosity in words, as a research topic
•Translate your topic(s) into research questions to express this curiosity
•Find research methods to help answer the questions
•Not the other way around!
•Stays close to experience
•Leads to use of a wide variety of methods
•Hold onto your curiosity while considering programmatic possibilitiesB. Possibilities for PCT Research: Current Research Fronts
•Look at the available possibilities for collaboration in research communities
•Host an internal dialogue between your curiosity and the available possibilities
•Research Front = research topic being actively pursued by a variety of researchers1. Person-Centred Outcome with specific types of clients
•A scientific growing edge
•Can use research politically for empowering PCT therapists & their clients
•Opportunities for collaboration
•Research in community
•Serving the present moment: a political necessity2. Relational processes: Deepening PCT
•Young people (school counselling)
•Group studies in centres or by therapist research networks
•Single case research in one’s practice
•Contemporary understandings of person-centred relational processes3. Client Experiences: Listening to the Client
•Measurement (e.g., Therapeutic Relationship Scale)
•Micro-process research (e.g., understanding the dance of empathy between client and therapist)
•Significant events research4. Task analysis: Tapping Therapist wisdom
•Clients’ experiences of helpful and hindering processes
•Use to improve therapy
•Markers, indicators & micro-processes: What do experienced, skilled therapists look out for in client in-session process? What do they pick up on?5. Emerging front: Effects and Change Processes in Person-Centred Training
•Therapist responsiveness: What do experienced, skilled therapists do when they pick up client markers?
•Therapeutic tasks How do experienced, skilled therapists help their clients accomplish things in sessions?
•Effects/outcomes (e.g., personal & professional functioning; therapy process & outcome
•Helpful and unhelpful processes
•Justify/improve training; accountability
III. The Dialogue between Experiential and Research Front Paths to PCT Research
•Use your curiosity to reflect on the programmatic possibilities
•Questions to facilitate reflection:
•Is there space for my curiosity in this?
•Is there something here that captures my curiosity more strongly?
•Or is my curiosity a burning passion that needs to follow its own path?