A counseling session with an individual may qualify research as, putting together of information and understandings, followed by determination of validity of the conclusions and activities central on the shared knowledge (McLeod, 2003 p.4). A working definition of research is; an organized course of decisive investigation resulting to legitimate suggestions and conclusions, which are conveyed to other interested people. Based on this definition, there are several concepts that need evaluation. Critical inquiry is the drive whereby human beings are curious to know, learn and offer solutions to problems. As a process, research includes steps or stages, which further relies on observation, reflection and experimentation.
In the case of systematic, this means that research takes place within a theoretical system, and research includes application of principles aiming at achieving valid information. Results of research are propositions meaning that, after a research, there is a need to communicate the results to the public domain. Validity is the concept of authenticity of a research. Therefore, every research should provide empirical evidence into the problem. Finally, research is communicated to interest others, meaning that research studies offer a person, pieces of information that combine to form the complexity of the literature on the subject matter (McLeod, 2003, p.4).
2) Why is research important for counselors based on McLeod's perspective?
According to McLeod (2003, p. 1-2) research is significant to counselors for various reasons. Research has helped counselors gain a broad perspective. Research studies allow counselors to learn from works of other counselors hence increasing their knowledge in a broad perspective. Research has also assisted counselors develop new ideas. This is because counseling and psychotherapy are emerging professions, meaning that there are constant advancements in theory and innovations. Another significance of research is that counselors can apply counseling in new areas. This is mainly because of the development of methods, which has led to emerging of new clients.
3) Explain the philosophical tensions of what research is according to McLeod's perspective
The aim of McLeod's book Doing Counseling Research is to enable efficient research in the field of counseling; however, it is misleading to represent counseling research as a straightforward matter following specific guidelines (McLeod, 2003, p.6). This has resulted to severe conflicts within the research field in relation to what constitutes valid research techniques. To avoid such conflicts, counseling researchers should consider the choices they make when they come up with research designs when carrying out research. Most of the choices will require philosophical considerations.
It is apparent that research in counseling does not follow the philosophy of science; McLeod claims that the concepts in philosophy work well when incorporated in evolution of sciences such as physics and chemistry (McLeod, 2003, p.7). However, trying to fit science in counseling and psychotherapy will lead to difficulties. In addition, copying the techniques of sciences in social and human sciences will lead to failure. From this perspective, McLeod suggest that it is wrong to conceptualize people as objects that can fit into experiments because it is not possible to manipulate people similarly to physical entities.
4) What are the conditions that Roger suggests for personality change to occur from McLeod's perspective?
The person-centered approach is a psychological approach to an individual, which has the capacity to reorganize behavior. Owing to this approach, Roger suggests some psychological conditions, which may aid in personality change. He suggests that, although there is criticism concerning the human nature, as being naive and overly optimistic, such representations do not deny human beings the ability to have destructive thoughts; however, it also emphasizes the potential of personal development. In addition, a belief in the goodness of the client is fundamental, whereby, the client having had some experience to the counselor's attitudes can have potential influence in consequent behavior re-organization. Therefore, it is possible to help a client to change personally if the following condition is met; developing a relationship embodied with values, which will in turn make him or her discover his or her strengths and move toward finding solutions making personal sense individually (McLeod, 2003).
5) Explain the process outcome research in detail with all its components from McLeod's perspective
Outcome research aimed at offering a comprehensive piece of research. The studies provide results that affect healthcare process on the health of patients. This is because the approach incorporates ethical and professional safeguards. In addition, Sloane et al. (1975) first used this approach, but later faced criticism (p. 120). The study aimed at identifying whether counseling is a beneficial process for the client. However, outcome research is a difficult process, which has some threats of validity.
The threats are two; threats to internal and external validity. Threats to internal validity include statistical regression, selection biases, differential attrition rates and external events. Threats to external validity include test reactivity, reactivity of experimental arrangements, findings confined to specific environments and pre-test sensitization (p. 122). The process of outcome research is one that has offered substantial innovation and activity in the field of counseling (p. 121).
6) Explain methodological pluralism
Methodological pluralism is the use of numerous theoretical approaches and methodological models in the course of scientific practice. However, in the field of counseling research, it is apparent that there are alternative methodological alternatives. In psychology and medicine, the traditional method of research is dominant. On the other hand, there is qualitative research highly influenced by classical phenomenology. Therefore, methodological pluralism will have to show or incorporate these approaches for it to fit in counseling research. A typical example in counseling research is Howard (1983) who utilized methodological pluralism.
He proposed that in order to comprehend the needs of humanity, one should consider several ontological views, various perceptions on humanity and utilize multiplicity of empirical research techniques. He further suggested that in order to understand humanity, methodological pluralism will facilitate the understanding. However, there was a challenge on how to put together findings from different perspectives into a single picture of human activity. In response, Howard (1983) suggested that researchers would determine whether conclusions on similar problems resulted to contradictory results (McLeod 2003, p. 179).
7) Explain the strategies for combining qualitative and quantitative research
One of the strategies for combining qualitative and quantitative research is the use of the triangulation technique. Triangulation utilizes the combination of survey questionnaires with non-standard interviews (Hauser, 2009, p. 149). The core principle in triangulation is that if various types of data offer similar conclusions, there is an increase in the conclusions (Hauser, 2009, p. 149). In addition, sequencing is another strategy that may help in combining qualitative and quantitative methods. A typical is a study has a qualitative phase of data followed by a quantitative stage of evaluating the data, whereby interviews are coded, and coding frequencies is determined; the evaluation of data may involve the construction of types by utilizing numerous evaluations. Another approach is by "hybrids" which originally comprise of a combination of the two methods of research. The aspects may have close packing to avoid differentiation, systematic content evaluation that combines the qualitative coding of information with the quantitative determination of coefficients of agreement.
8) Name the current criticism of therapy research by practitioners from McLeod's perspective
There are several criticisms apparent in therapy research. Owing to the fact that most of counseling and psychotherapy research occur within the field of psychology, as cited by (Heaton p.193) suggests that it is not advisable to base therapy on psychology. In addition, he suggests that theoretical work in therapy should foster recognition of the limits of language and the emerging context (McLeod, 2003 p. 193).
9) Explain the contributions of counseling to research
In recent years, counseling psychology has emerged as one of the most self-concerned disciplines that aim at helping professions. In addition, counseling has also contributed a lot in research. For instance, counseling has contributed to research in a manner that has led to emerging of other professions in the same field. In addition, through the interventions such as healing, which are outcomes of counseling, has led to further research on the effectiveness of counseling on clients. This means that counseling has led to the development of models such as the personal centered models, which help people to change individually and enhance personal development. Another significant contribution of counseling is that it has led to further research whereby scholars have produced numerous literatures and enhanced knowledge on counseling.
10) What is the role of theory from McLeod's perspective?
McLeod suggests that the role of theory is a significant issue in counseling and psychotherapy research. However, theory has offered significant assistance in this field of research. For instance, some researchers have utilized theoretical approaches, whereby their work has aimed at testing or extending the model. Theory assists the researchers to develop methods and instruments that allow them to measure theoretical designs such as self-concepts or important conflicting relationship arguments. In addition, the role of theory helps in conducting research according to the "grounded theory" methodology.