Process research, in the context of therapy, refers to research that examines processes happening in therapy—on the part of either the clients or the therapist. It can involve observations of therapy or physiological data that capture the process of therapy. Much of the family therapy research that exists tests outcomes, such as symptomology, functioning, or satisfaction, at the end of therapy. These outcomes help answer this question: Does therapy work? While this is important information when considering whether or not a therapy model or technique is effective, it fails to answer the questions related to why or how therapy works. Process research, on the other hand, examines the mechanisms that contribute to those successful outcomes to better understand why therapy is successful. This entry ...

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