Understanding Research in Clinical and Counseling Psychology is a unique text because it is designed and written for the graduate students aspiring to careers in practice rather than in psychological science who are the vast majority in clinical and counseling programs.
To motivate readers to see the value of knowledge produced by research, the book opens with an actual case report that shows how research-generated strategies incorporated into treatment allowed a woman who formerly would have been considered so hopelessly incapacitated by obsessive-compulsive disorder as to require lifetime institutionalization if not neurosurgery to return to normal family and work life.
The first set of chapters introduces fundamental concepts of measurement, sampling, and validity.
The next set systematically presents the kinds of investigations most relevant to budding practitioners–group comparisons, correlations, single-subject designs, program evaluations, and meta-analyses. Each of these chapters concludes with a detailed example of a study in which students can see how the techniques described are actually employed.
The third set addresses enduring concerns–how to define and maintain ethical standards, how to do effective literature reviews and assess the quality of existing data, and how to collect and analyze data. It also addresses concerns that have emerged recently–how to distinguish and judge effective and efficacious treatments and how to contribute to research efforts as a private practitioner.
The issues involved in the often confusing effectiveness versus efficacy debate are illuminated with a clinically relevant case example. Descriptions of alternatives to conventional significance testing, such as “clinical significance” and “reliable change analyses” help students consider new ways in which they can impose rigor on their own research and practice activities.
Two final chapters examine the challenges of studying two special groups: children and older adults.
Throughout, the authors, all capable researchers who are also experienced practitioners, demonstrate the ways in which research is an essential foundation for effective and ethical practice. Students and instructors alike will welcome this reader-friendly book.