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What do counsellors and psychotherapists need to know about research?

Elliott, Robert and Wheeler, Sue (2008) What do counsellors and psychotherapists need to know about research? Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 8 (2). pp. 133-135. ISSN 1473-3145

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Abstract

Regardless of the model of therapy being taught, counselling and psychotherapy training must address the theory and skills of psychotherapeutic practice and its ethical, cultural, organisational, economic, social, and political context. For their part, trainees are focussed on what happens in the therapy room and look to clinical supervisors and trainers to help them enhance their skills. Trainees often have trouble seeing the importance of developing their capacity to function as reflective practitioners grounded in research, which is necessary for them to function autonomously as professionals. Professional practice requires the wisdom, knowledge, and skill of a master craftsman (Sennett, 2008), able to investigate and process complex material and make appropriate judgements or decisions, to contribute to future developments with new knowledge. Research informs and can improve practice, but is often a hard sell.