• First Steps in Practitioner Research: A guide to understanding and doing research in counselling and health and social care

First Steps in Practitioner Research: A guide to understanding and doing research in counselling and health and social care

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ISBN 978 1 898059 73 8 (2010)
Cover Price: £26.00
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"A uniquely valuable resource for students in the field of counselling and the helping professions.  Succinct, comprehensive and highly accessible, it provides a wonderful support for those taking the first steps towards conducting, and understanding, research." Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, University of Roehampton, London, UK.

It is widely acknowledged that research is an essential core component in the counselling and psychotherapy curriculum, with the emphasis on students’ understanding of practice-based evidence and completing small practitioner research projects.

To date there is little in the way of textbooks to support this area of course development specifically dedicated to the helping and therapy professions. First Steps in Practitioner Research will bridge that gap, providing a reliable and accessible introduction in the highly acclaimed style of the Steps in Counselling series.

This book is written for complete beginners in social sciences research. It explains research from first principles and takes the reader through to the point at which they will be able to attempt simple research on their own practice. It builds confidence by not only explaining contemporary methodologies in everyday language, but also how to approach, understand and evaluate a range of research in journal articles and books.

• What is Research and Why Bother?
• Quantity versus Quality
• Asking Questions
• Measuring Things
• Using Numbers to Describe Things
• Distributions, Populations and Samples
• Quantitative Research Methods
• Approaching Qualitative Research
• Collecting Stories
• Working with Stories
• Encountering and Understanding Research Literature
• Researching Ethically
• Getting Started on Your Own Research
• Presenting Your Research to Others
• Practice-based Research in the Real World
• What Next?
• Appendix: Using PowerPoint to draw graphs, histograms pie charts and scattergrams

I have just completed teaching a double 'Research and Dissertation' module …  would that it [Sanders and Wilkins] had been available back in September! I am confident  the book will be both reassuring and informative to new, nervous practitioner researchers. Leonie Sugarman, University of Cumbria

As a primarily qualitative researcher the sections on statistics were especially illuminating – clear and easy to understand. I will certainly keep this book close by! It is an indispensible guide for anyone researching practice: from the beginner to the more experienced researcher. Dr. Helen Spandler, Senior Research Fellow, School of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire

This is an excellent guide to the whole research process and leads the reader step by step through the journey. It’s the Delia Smith Cook Book of research guides! Maggie Robson, University of Keele

Sanders and Wilkins know that practitioners are often ambivalent about research … and speak directly to this ambivalence … they are accomplished writers who know their audience. The book does not avoid complexity, but explains complex concepts plainly … Bill Stiles, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Miami University, Ohio. Past President, Society for Psychotherapy Research.

Paul Wilkins

 I am an academic and therapist deeply committed to the person-centred approach about which I have written papers, chapters and books. My doctoral study was concerned with what it means to be person-centred and I am currently as much interested in how to be person-centred as a researcher as I am in extending my understanding of person-centred theory and practice. I am passionate about the creativity I see as inherent in the approach and seek to apply this to all areas of my life. When I am not thinking, writing, researching or teaching, I enjoy the good things the world has to offer; wild places, music, wine and food, to name but a few! Until my recent retirement I was senior lecturer in the Department of Pyschology and Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Paul Wilkins

Pete Sanders

Pete Sanders worked as a volunteer at ‘Off The Record’, Newcastle-upon Tyne, in 1972 before completing a degree in psychology at the university there, and then the postgraduate diploma in counselling at Aston University. He practised as a counsellor, educator and clinical supervisor for more than 30 years, and published widely on many aspects of counselling, psychotherapy and mental health, as well as co-founding PCCS Books in 1993. After practising and teaching counselling, he continued to have an active interest in developing person-centred theory, the politics of counselling and psychotherapy, and the demedicalisation of distress.  He died in February 2022.

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Pete Sanders