Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy: Practical Applications


Edited by: Windy Dryden

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    List of Contributors

    Windy Dryden is Professor of Counselling at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has authored or edited over ninety books including Facilitating Client Change in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (Whurr Publications, 1995) and Daring to be Myself: A Case of Rational-Emotive Therapy, written with Joseph Yankura (Open University Press, 1992). In addition, he edits 12 book series in the area of counselling and psychotherapy, including the Brief Therapy and Counselling series (Wiley) and Developing Counselling (Sage Publications). His major interests are in rational emotive behaviour therapy, eclecticism and integration in psychotherapy and, increasingly, writing short, accessible self-help books for the general public.

    Michael Barkham, PhD, trained as a clinical psychologist and worked for 10 years at the Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council (MRC/ESRC) Social and Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield and was involved in a series of psychotherapy studies investigating the processes and outcomes of time-limited therapies. In 1995 he took up post as Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Deputy Director of the Psychological Therapies Research Centre at the University of Leeds. He was the 1991 recipient of the May Davidson Award (Division of Clinical Psychology, BPS) and is currently UK Vice-President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research.

    Donald H. Baucom, PhD, is a distinguished professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina. He has conducted a number of controlled treatment outcome studies validating the effectiveness of behavioral marital therapy, cognitive restructuring, and emotional expressiveness with maritally distressed couples. In recent years, he has worked in collaboration with Norman Epstein to study cognitive processes in couples, with a primary emphasis on couples' standards and attributions. Baucom and Epstein have co-authored Cognitive Behavioral Marital Therapy. In addition to his research efforts, he maintains an active clinical practice, and he has won several awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

    Larry E. Beutler, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Counseling! Clinical/School Psychology Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He obtained his PhD from the University of Nebraska in 1970, and subsequently served on the faculties of Duke University Medical School, Stephen F. Austin State University, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Arizona. Dr Beutler is a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and a past international President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR). He is currently the Editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society and the International Fellowship of Eclectic Psychotherapists. He is the author of approximately two hundred scientific papers and chapters, and is the author, editor or co-author of 10 books on psychotherapy and psychopathology.

    Frank W. Bond recently received his PhD in psychology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. His supervisor was Windy Dryden, with whom he continues to conduct research on cognitive-behavioural theories of psychopathology. Currently, Dr Bond is receiving further clinical training at the Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy Unit, University College London School of Medicine.

    Gillian Butler, PhD, is a consultant clinical psychologist working in Oxford. She has alternated working within the National Health Service and doing research in Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry on the development and evaluation of psychological treatments for more complex and persistent anxiety disorders. She is interested in making psychological ideas and research findings readily accessible, and has written booklets in which psychological treatments are explained in a simple and practical manner. Together with Tony Hope, she has also written Manage Your Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide, a book for the general public which explains a wide range of psychological ideas in practical and usable terms.

    Norman Epstein is a Professor of Family Studies at the University of Maryland, in College Park, Maryland. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is a Fellow in the divisions of family psychology and psychotherapy of the American Psychological Association, as well as a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. In addition to his teaching, research and clinical training activities at the University of Maryland, he has a part-time private practice with individuals and couples. For over twenty years, his research, clinical work and publications have focused on the assessment and treatment of relationship problems, depression and anxiety.

    Susan D. Field, PhD, read psychology at Southampton University and then carried out her doctoral research on the assimilation model at the Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council (MRC/ESRC) Social and Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield. She is currently undertaking training in clinical psychology (D.Clin.Psy.) at the University of Leeds.

    Marvin R. Goldfried is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In addition to his teaching, clinical supervision and research, he maintains a limited practice of psychotherapy in New York City. He is a diplomate in clinical psychology, editorial board member of professional journals and author of several books. Dr Goldfried is co-founder of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration.

    Rhonda Goldman, MA, is completing her PhD in clinical psychology at York University, Toronto. She is presently a clinical psychology intern at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto. Her dissertation research focuses on processes of change in psychotherapy.

    Leslie S. Greenberg is Professor of Psychology at York University, Toronto, and Director of the Psychotherapy Research Centre. He is Past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. He is in private practice in couples and individual therapy in Toronto and trains therapists in emotionally focused approaches to treatment. He has written a number of books with colleagues on psychotherapy research and emotion in psychotherapy, the most recent of which is Facilitating Emotional Change, (Guilford, 1993) with L. Rice and R. Elliott. Books in press include Working with Emotion and two edited texts on the therapeutic alliance and emotion in marriage and marital therapy. He has published extensively on research on individual and couples therapy and is on the editorial board of a number of journals. He is currently conducting an NIMH-funded research project on the experiential change process in depression.

    Gillian E. Hardy trained as a clinical and occupational psychologist and has worked both in the National Health Service and at the Medical Research Council/Economic and Social Research Council (MRC/ESRC) Social and Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield. Her research involvement has been investigating the processes and outcomes of time-limited psychotherapies. She is now at the University of Leeds.

    Martin Heesacker, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Florida and a licensed psychologist. Having served on the psychology faculties of Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University, he received his doctorate from the University of Missouri in 1983. Author of nearly fifty journal articles and book chapters, he was a Fulbright Scholar, Eli Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow, University of Florida Teaching Award recipient, recipient of the Early Career Award from the Counseling Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a Fellow of the APA.

    Alvin R. Mahrer, PhD, is Professor at the School of Psychology, University of Ottawa. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and former President of one of its divisions, he is one of 12 psychotherapists included in the APA's Psychotherapy Videotape Series. He is author of 11 books and approximately two hundred chapters, articles and studies on psychotherapy, especially his experiential psychotherapy. As a working clinician and practitioner, he is involved in theorising, teaching, philosophising and researching, and was the recipient of the University of Ottawa Award for Excellence in Research in 1992. He wants to discover the secrets of psychotherapy, and become a fine therapist.

    Shelley McMain, PhD, is a staff psychologist at the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto. She conducts research on the processes of change in psychotherapy and is currently interested in studying psychotherapeutic processes with an opiate-dependent population.

    Cristina Mejia-Millan is a doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology Program at the University of Florida. An honours baccalaureate graduate of the University of Florida, Ms Mejia-Millan was a member of Golden Key Honor Society, the honour society Phi Kappa Phi and Omicrom Delta Kappa Leadership Honorary. She serves as a Care Team Associate at the Alachua County, Florida Crisis Center. Her research interests include attitude change processes and their relationships to counselling psychology, as well as the interface of social psychology and counselling psychology more broadly.

    Patrick J. Raue earned his BA from the Catholic University of America and his MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is involved in clinical and research activities and has published in the area of the therapeutic alliance and psychotherapy integration.

    William B. Stiles is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Since 1984, he has frequently visited the United Kingdom to collaborate with the Medical Research Council! Economic and Social Research Council (MRC/ESRC) Social and Applied Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield on various psychotherapy studies.

    Shaké G. Toukmanian, PhD (University of Utah), is Associate Professor of Psychology and the past Director of Clinical Training at York University in Toronto. She has held academic positions at Bishop's and McGill Universities in Quebec. She is the co-editor with D.L. Rennie of Psychotherapy Process Research: Paradigmatic and Narrative Approaches (Sage Publications, 1992). A member of the York University Psychotherapy Research Centre, her present focus is on the application of relevant concepts and research findings in the cognitive sciences to the study of change processes in experiential psychotherapies.

    Douglas A. Vakoch is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is trained primarily in cognitive-behavioural therapy, and his research focuses on therapists' perceptions of patients' interpersonal issues. He is especially interested in how these perceptions are influenced by therapists' epistemological style, theoretical orientation and level of experience. Prior to his clinical work, he received an MA in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame for his studies in continental philosophies of psychology and psychoanalysis.

    Rebecca E. Williams, MA, M.Ed, is currently completing her doctorate in clinical psychology in the Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her BA from Williams College, her M.Ed. from Harvard University and her MA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ms Williams has published a number of articles and chapters in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse, childhood sexual abuse, integrative and eclectic psychotherapy, and bridging the gap between psychotherapy research and practice. Ms Williams is a psychology intern at the University of California, San Diego Department of Psychiatry and the La Jolla Veterans Administration.

    Susan L. Wiser received a BA from the Pennsylvania State University, and an MA and PhD in clinical psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She left New York for the mountains of Montana, where she provided clinical services at the Montana State University Counseling Center and at the Crow Indian Reservation. She has taken a ‘sabbatical’ to travel the western United States and Asia, and then intends to settle in the mountains of the West and engage in clinical, teaching and research activities.

    Heidi A. Zetzer, PhD, obtained a Master's Degree in counseling psychology from the Ohio State University in 1986 and a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1990. She is currently a licensed psychologist and Project Coordinator of the Psychotherapy Research Project in the Graduate School of Education at UCSB. In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member of Antioch University, Santa Barbara. Research and clinical interests include: alcohol and drug abuse; child sexual abuse; eating disorders; psychology of women; and psychotherapy process and outcome.


    The main purpose of this book is to help bridge the gap that currently exists between research and practice in counselling and psychotherapy. Many researchers are suspicious of the pronouncements of counselling and psychotherapy practitioners because these are not backed up by research, and practitioners tend to ignore research findings because they consider that these findings have little relevance for their clinical practice. While research articles often contain a section on ‘implications for practice’, these are frequently very brief and are too general to be practically applied.

    Consequently, I invited a number of researchers to describe their research programmes and to spell out the practical applications of their findings. I urged contributors to be concise in their description of their research and expansive in their speculations concerning how their findings can inform the practice of counselling and psychotherapy. Virtually all contributors had difficulty with this task. In their first draft most of them spent more time describing their research than considering the practical applications of their findings. While their final drafts do reflect the brief that they were originally set, it seemed to me that addressing the basic question that I had set them did not come at all easily to the authors. Many admitted this in letters to me. This is not a deficiency in those whose work appears in these pages. Rather, it probably reflects a problem in the way that counsellors and psychotherapists are trained. If the research-practice divide is to be traversed, then research, skills training and supervised clinical practice need to be far more closely integrated on training courses than they are at present.

    Having said all this, I want to thank my contributors for taking on such a challenging task and for shedding some light on the relevance that their research studies have for practitioners. While this light is still dimmer than I had hoped, it does point the way towards the integration of research and practice. The present book should be viewed against this backdrop.

    Finally, please note that when case studies are referred to, all identifiable material has been changed and pseudonyms used to safeguard client anonymity.



    I wish to thank Jean Male for her assistance in preparing this manuscript for publication.

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