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Relational-centred Research for Psychotherapists: Exploring Meanings and Experience

Linda Finlay (Editor), Ken Evans (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-99776-5
274 pages
October 2009
Relational-centred Research for Psychotherapists: Exploring Meanings and Experience  (0470997761) cover image


An accessible, practical introduction to carrying out qualitative research in psychotherapy and counselling for practitioners who want or who are required to contribute to the profession’s evidence base.
  • Gives clear guidance on how to set up and conduct small scale research that is based in clinical practice
  • Assumes no prior knowledge of qualitative research and is aimed specifically at psychotherapists
  • Recognises development of the evidence base for psychotherapy through qualitative research as a key objective for practitioners
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Table of Contents

About the Editors.

Contributing Authors.


Part I: Engaging Qualitative Research and the Relational-centred Approach.


1. Qualitative Relational-centred Research: A ‘Voyage of Discovery’.

2. Competing Qualitative Research Traditions.

3. Embodied Co-creation: Theory and Values for Relational Research.

4. Challenging ‘Evidence-based Practice’.

5. Quality in Qualitative Relational-centred Research.

Part II: Relational-centred Research: Being and Doing.


6. Setting Up Research.

7. The Research Encounter: Co-creating your Data.

8. Embracing Relational Research: Learning from Therapy.

9. Engaging ‘Process’.

10. Analysis of Data (Linda Finlay and Anna Madill).

11. Relational Ethics.

12. Becoming a Relational Researcher.

Part III: Relational-centred Research in Action.


13. ‘My Heart was Killing Me’: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experience of Anger (Virginia Eatough).

14. A Therapist’s Portrait of a Clinical Encounter with a Somatizer (Maria Luca).

15. Relating through Difference: A Critical Narrative Analysis (Darren Langdridge).

16. A Journey into Survival and Coping by Women Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse (Susan L. Morrow).



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Author Information

Linda Finlay teaches Psychology with the Open University, UK, and is an Academic Consultant offering training and mentorship on qualitative research in health care. She is currently working towards registration as an Integrative psychotherapist. She has published widely on topics relating to psychosocial occupational therapy, group work and qualitative research.

Ken Evans is a registered Gestalt and Integrative psychotherapist. He is co-director of the European Institute for Psychotherapeutic Studies, an institute that provides a range of continued professional development workshops for graduate therapists as well as training programmes in clinical supervision, psychotherapy research, and organisational consultancy.

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"This is a useful and informative introductory book. It sparked my interest in pursuing some of the suggested methods and topics of research within my own setting." (Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand, June 2010)

‘This book is highly readable, and humanistic in the best and deepest sense of the word. Finlay and Evans have done much to demonstrate what psychotherapy and qualitative research have in common without overlooking their boundaries. They provide a vision and a map that is likely to inspire and give guidance to psychotherapists and researchers who take seriously the exploration of human experience.’--Steen Halling, Professor of Psychology, Seattle University, USA

‘This book is essential reading for seasoned and novice researchers alike; Finlay and Evans put relational-centred research on the map and offer a much-needed bridge across the gulf between academic theory/research and clinical practice.’--Professor Simon du Plock, Metanoia Institute and Middlesex University, UK

‘I believe that psychotherapists will resonate strongly with this approach to research. It just makes so much sense. The human dimensions of research are emphasised --both in its process and in its topic areas. This is a book that can awaken enthusiasm for what is most alive in human-centred enquiry.’--Professor Les Todres, author of Embodied Enquiry: Phenomenological Touchstones for Research, Psychotherapy and Spirituality

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