Research Ethics for Counsellors, Nurses and Social Workers


Dee Danchev & Alistair Ross

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    For Alex and Judy

    About the Authors

    Dee Danchev is a Chartered Psychologist. After an earlier career in medical social work she focused on developing her therapeutic skills and trained as a counsellor. She is primarily a practitioner and has worked in a variety of educational, medical and emergency service settings. This has included managing a university counselling, health and disability service, and the post of supervisor for the Metropolitan Police Service counsellors. She has had a parallel career as a tutor and lecturer on social work, counselling and counselling psychology training courses at Keele University and City University, London. She has supervised postgraduate research since 1992 and until recently was research tutor for students on the Masters course in Psychodynamic Practice at Oxford University. Dee is currently Pastoral Advisor at Nuffield College, Oxford, where she provides counselling and psychological support for the students, fellows and staff. She is an enthusiastic supporter of the British Psychological Society's Qualification in Counselling Psychology, which provides an independent route to becoming a counselling psychologist. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Assessors for this qualification.

    Her recent publications include a chapter on counselling in education for the third edition of the Handbook of Counselling Psychology (SAGE, 2010) and the practitioner's perspective for the chapter on depression for Common Presenting Issues for Psychotherapeutic Practice (SAGE, 2014).

    Alistair Ross initially trained as a Baptist Minister and worked in South London, Kent and Birmingham. He subsequently did an experiential therapeutic training course at Claybury Psychiatric Hospital in Essex and worked as a pastoral counsellor and practical theologian. He is a senior accredited psychodynamic counsellor and supervisor, as well as a dynamic interpersonal therapist. Alistair is Director of Psychodynamic Studies and University Lecturer in Psychotherapy at Oxford University. He is also Dean and Fellow of Kellogg College.

    Alistair enjoys being Chair of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy's Professional Ethics and Quality Standards Committee, which makes ethics a continually live experience. He is a member of the editorial board for Practical Theology and reviews editor for The European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling.

    Alistair's research is on the emergence of spirituality in contemporary psychoanalysis, which he has termed ‘sacred psychoanalysis’. Publications include Counselling Skills for Church and Faith Community Workers (Open University Press, 2003) and ‘Psychodynamic counselling, religion and spirituality’, in S. Wheeler (ed.), Difference and Diversity in Counselling: Contemporary Psychodynamic Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). Alistair has authored and co-authored a wide range of articles, including such diverse but intriguing subjects as: ‘Theology and terrorism: Interview and analysis’; ‘Grotstein's “Black Hole” and working with Borderline Personality’; ‘A new pluralism: A paradigm of pluralisms’; ‘Inside the experience of anorexia nervosa: A narrative thematic analysis’; ‘The writings of Peter Lomas’; and ‘The relational: A postmodern meta-narrative’.

    To relax, Alistair enjoys hill-walking and scrambling in Scotland, the land of his birth.


    Dee – I would like to thank Paul Gordon, who encouraged me to write. I would also like to thank my formative social work and counselling teachers Tony Bolger and Val Harding Davies. I have a special debt of gratitude to John McLeod, who provided me with an invaluable education in research theory and practice.

    Alistair – I would like to thank my colleagues at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, especially Tim Bond, Nancy Rowlands, Helen Coles, Hadyn Williams and Sarah Millward as well as the Professional Ethics and Quality Standards Committee.

    We would both like to thank Alice Oven, Kate Wharton, Laura Walmsley and Rachel Burrows at Sage for their helpful advice and encouragement.

    We are indebted to the following people for stimulating and sustaining conversations: Sarah Bartlett, Nic Bayley, Chris Chambers, Jemma Chambers, Geoff Colmer, Mike Ellis, Barbara Fayers, Paul and Gill Goodliff, Hannah Gormley, Jack Gormley, Sarah Grochala, Pam Horrocks, Oliver Horrocks, Diane Miller, Stephen Pattison, Toby Ross, Adelheid Scholten, Dee Stanfield, Paul Stoop, and Ray Woolf.

    We would like to thank the Warden, fellows, students and staff of Nuffield College, Oxford; the President, fellows, students and staff of Kellogg College, Oxford; and the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University. They all provide us with enriching work environments. Thanks are also due to the students of the M.St. programme in Psychodynamic Practice. They have contributed to our understanding of research ethics with lively and thoughtful discussions about their ethical dilemmas.

    Especial thanks for permission to reproduce their work to Jemma C. Chambers, Christian Jarrett, Elana Newman, Traci Willard, Robert Sinclair, Danny Kaloupek, Petroc Sumner, Frederic Boy, and Chris Chambers. We would also like to thank the British Psychological Society and The Guardian newspaper for permission to reproduce work that was initially published on their websites.

    Finally, heartfelt thanks to our partners Alex Danchev and Judy Ross for their encouragement and unfailing support throughout this project.

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