You are here

The Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Handbook

The Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Handbook

Edited by:

October 2014 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Research is a vital and often daunting component of many counselling and psychotherapy courses. As well as completing their own research projects, trainees across modalities must understand the research in the field – what it tells them and how to do it.

Breaking down this seemingly mountainous task into easy to swallow pieces, this book will navigate your students through each stage of the research process, from choosing a research question, through the pros and cons of different methods, to data analysis and writing up their findings.

Written by leading contributors from the field including John McLeod, Mick Cooper and Tim Bond, each chapter features points for reflection, engaging activities and suggestions for further reading, helping students to engage with all aspects of research. An original graphic narrative runs throughout the book, bringing this complex topic to life in a unique way.

Whether embarking on research for the first time or already a little familiar with research and research methods, this unique guide is something counselling and psychotherapy students will turn to continually throughout their research projects.  

Andreas Vossler, Naomi Moller & Mick Cooper
Setting the scene – Why research matters
Andreas Vossler & Naomi Moller
Attitudes to and perceptions of research
Beginning the research journey
Elaine Kasket
Choosing a research question
Elena Gil-Rodiguez
How to read and understand research
Meg Barker
Doing a literature review
Ladislav Timulak
Introduction to research methodology
Terry Hanley, Clodagh Jordan & Kasia Wilk
Planning your research: Design, method and sample
Tim Bond
Ethical considerations
Mark Donati
Writing a research proposal
Methodologies and methods for doing research
Elspeth Twigg
Quantitative methods
Elspeth Twigg & Paul Redford
How to use t-tests to explore pre-post change
Linda Finlay
Qualitative methods
Virginia Braun, Victoria Clarke & Nicola Rance
How to use thematic analysis with interview data
Julia McLeod, Mhairi Thurston & John McLeod
Case studies methodologies
Mhairi Thurston, Julia McLeod & John McLeod
How to use case study methodology with single client therapy data
Completing the research journey
Andrew Reeves
Dissemination of research
Brian Sreenan, Harriet Smith & Charles Frost
Student top tips
Peter Stratton, Naomi Moller & Andreas Vossler
Next steps – Building on and using research in training and practice

The editors of this book have assembled contributions from key authors who explain comprehensively the rationales for research and methods of conducting it, in accessible language that invites readers to overcome anxieties and doubts about using research. Vossler and Moller's Handbook deserves to become the authoritative resource for practitioners and students of counselling and psychotherapy.


Colin Feltham
Emeritus Professor of Critical Counselling Studies, Sheffield Hallam University, and Associate Professor of Humanistic Psychology, University of Southern Denmark.

I think this is a most impressive text. The language employed is plain, accessible and inclusive and the editors have skilfully produced a coherent narrative without losing the distinctive voices of individual contributors. This will without doubt become required reading for anyone – novice or seasoned practitioner – who seeks a wise companion on their own research journey.

Professor Simon du Plock
Head of Post-Qualification Doctorates Department, Metanoia Institute

In an era of “big data” and evidence based practice, this book provides students and practitioners with an engaging and informative way into the world of counselling and psychotherapy research. It is essential reading for those starting to make sense of and engage in empirical study.

Andy Hill
Head of Research, BACP

There have been plenty of publications on research as well as on training in counselling and psychotherapy. This wonderful handbook brings them together for the first time. It is a landmark publication: a comprehensive overview and a didactically excellent journey through the research process guided by experienced, well-known researchers. Research questions and planning; designs; methodologies and methods; organization and dissemination are discussed. It is ambitious but provides easily accessible expertise for students, practitioners and young researchers. It will have a large international impact on counselling and psychotherapy training and on the scientist-practitioner self concept of counsellors and psychotherapists.

Professor Frank Nestmann
Professor for Counselling and Rehabilitation, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

In true ‘handbook’ style, this engaging, comprehensive and motivational publication can be used as an exemplary reference tool throughout the research process. I would definitely recommend it to students, educators and researchers alike. Although it is intended primarily for students, there is much in its content for trainers and educators too.

Charlie Jackson, BACP Research Officer
Therapy Today

This book left me feeling excited and enthusiastic about conducting research - something I have not felt previously. It is a must for all students and practitioners. Whether you have no knowledge at all, or limited experience in research, this book fills the gap. 

Jo Sansby, counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor, Central Manchester University Hospitals

In this research handbook, attempts are made to enable the reader to overcome 'internal' hurdles to research...The reader is led through some very practical stages, from deciding on a research topic, to focusing down the research question, to deciding on the conducting a literature review and data analysis, to becoming aware of ethical issues, to writing-up and dissemination. A strength of the book is that it is written by both relatively new, and many seasoned researchers- each drawing on their past and current experience. This significantly adds 'texture' to the relevance and accessibility of the material...this is now a book I will be highly recommending that all of my research students have in their personal libraries, to refer to constantly throughout their research process. 

Peter Gubi, University of Chester
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research

This book is exactly what I need to oversee a Research Methods module for Psychotherapy and Counselling students, and a dissertation project module for Psychotherapy and Counselling students. It contains chapters on the key topics for the modules, and it is pitched at the right level. It contains the key points I want students to engage with, and these points are explained simply, clearly, and concisely. The "activity" sections of chapters include helpful ideas for seminar discussions. I highly recommend this book.

Dr Alister McCormick
Psychology, University of St Mark And St John
August 25, 2019

A useful and wide-ranging textbook which will supplement the teaching we do on research

Dr Laurence Spurling
School of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London
March 21, 2016

This book is general book in research method and not especially Counseling.

Dr Amir Hossein Ashna
Psychology , Refah University college
January 12, 2016

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781446255278

ISBN: 9781446255261

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.