Clients‘ experience of research within a research clinic setting

Clare Stone, Robert Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explored the impact that the research process has on individual clients and their progress in therapy. Method: This was a relatively small-scale qualitative study (N=17). The data consisted of an archive of semi- structured interviews from a university-based psychotherapy research clinic that were analysed using a version of grounded theory analysis. Some clients described as helpful the use of questionnaires, particularly the Personal Questionnaire (PQ) and Helpful Aspects of Therapy (HAT) Form, and the Qualitative Change Interview. Research procedures reported by other clients included the use of recording equipment, questionnaires (particularly the HAT Form), and interviews. The meaning that the research process had for clients was also considered, and provided evidence for a ‘moral trade-off’ experienced by participants.
There appears to a great diversity of client experiences of the research process, some positive and some negative. Questionnaires, recording equipment and interviews were the most commonly discussed aspects of the research process. These findings give us some indication of the issues that should be considered when planning research in the counselling psychology field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalCounselling Psychology Review - British Psychological Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • client experiences
  • impact of research
  • psychotherapy research methods
  • counselling psychology


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