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Taking your participants home: Self care within the research process

McGourty, A., Farrants, J., Pratt, R. & Cankovic, M. (2010). Taking your participants home: Self care within the research process. Counselling Psychology Review, 25(4), pp. 65-73.


Background: On the long and often stressful road to qualifying as a Counselling Psychologist the issue of self care is addressed early within the training. Yet this idea of self care relates to therapeutic practice, with little consideration of self care during the research process. With the training route now at Doctoral level, all practitioners will undertake a significant research project as part of the qualifying portfolio.

Aims and Scope: This paper explores the process issues encountered in conducting research into the experience of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), and raises questions about the way self-care is addressed within the research process. The article reflects upon a Content Analysis of 202 personal accounts of CSA with the aim of exploring the presence of Stockholm syndrome and PTSD within CSA. Literature from self care within the clinical application of psychology and trauma-based work is discussed as a starting point for the development of self care within a research context.

Conclusion: Recommendations are made for changes in research practice and ethical review, and a clear role for Counselling Psychologists to lead in this development.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Self-care, research methodology, research supervision
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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