The challenge of counselling and psychotherapy research

Mick Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this commentary is to argue that the value of counselling and psychotherapy research lies, not only in what it teaches us as therapists, but also in its ability to challenge us and our assumptions. Method: The paper identifies eight beliefs that may be prevalent in sections of the counselling and psychotherapy community, and presents evidence that challenges them. Findings: While many of our beliefs may hold true for some clients some of the time, the research evidence suggests that they are unlikely to be true for all clients all of the time. Discussion: By questioning and challenging therapists' a priori assumptions, research findings can help counsellors and psychotherapists to be less set in their beliefs; and more open to the unique experiences, characteristics and wants of each individual client.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2010


  • psychotherapy research
  • process-outcome research
  • research methods
  • humanistic psychology
  • educational studies


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