When is Research Not Research
In the fields of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy there is a greater and greater demand that the work undertaken with clients is “evidenced based”. Now there are many ways to define evidence based, if for example, I work with client A for anxiety and my approach helps them it could be argued that my approach is evidenced based as I can provide an example of a client my approach helped. However, in terms of real research, this would be at best considered anecdotal evidence. This is in and of itself not a bad thing or any less valid in some respects to randomised control trials, but it is not research.
Research in its purest form should be devoid of any intended attempt to prove efficacy, it should be about coming to that conclusion through an earnest study of available evidence and through appropriate experiementation. There are some organisations within the hypnotherapy and psychotherapy world which are out to prove that their approaches are superior to others. These attempts are loosly referred to as research projects. However, very often, these projects lack any independent oversight; the questions are leading, and there is an alterior motive to the research being undertaken (ie my method is the best and here is the research). I have even seen one “research” project which claimed superiority over all other methods based on customer feedback.
I say all this as a warning, to potential clients who see research mentioned by a practitioner and naturally think it is legitimate academic research. Do your homework and make sure the research is valid and appropriate for your needs.