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The Importance of Research for Therapists Part 1

The Importance of Research for Therapists Part 1

Over the past 10 posts I looked at the importance of ethics within a hypno-psychotherapy practice. I would very much like to now look at the need to be clear about research for the practising therapist. Not the “nonsense research” often quoted by therapists “I have a 95% success rate with X” showing no empirical evidence of such claims.

Practitioners wishing to develop the necessary research skills might first start by considering the nature and quality of research relevant to them.  Having identified areas of interest in social research, next it will be necessary to acquire a good introductory text covering research methods, data handling and statistical analysis in the Social Services.  Most Social Section research involving statistical analysis is conducted with the use of statistical analysis is conducted with the use of statistical programmes written for personal computers.  For the practitioner or student researcher, gathering large amounts of numerically coded data, computational skills and familiarity with computer programmes is a further area for consideration.

Conducting research in Social Science, particularly that aimed at publication, is likely to involve financial investment.  An important thing to remember is that there are no viable short cuts in producing research findings.  Research which has been unsoundly planned and/or badly executed, that which is incomplete, that which fails to address the driving hypothesis or research that breaches ethical guidelines, will inevitably be rejected by the therapeutic community reviewing it.


For the therapist in practice, it is likely that there will be two elements of applied research of specific relevance.  First locating and evaluating existing research reports and second undertaking applied research and evaluating the outcomes of treatment intervention.  Both elements demand complementary skills, knowledge and abilities that should be regarded as part of ongoing professional development amongst practising therapists.

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