“I’m a clinician, not a researcher!”

I hear this phrase a lot in my work as a research supervisor and director of studies.  Luckily, no-one’s (yet) been foolish enough to say it to me when I’ve been an examiner in a viva, but I’ve sensed it!

webIt’s a badly-kept secrets that many counselling psychology trainees (and some clinical psychology trainees too, oh yes!) want a therapy training that means they can call themselves a Doctor, and see the research as a necessary evil, to be given the minimum attention possible.  What they forget (or prefer not to remember) is that clinical and counselling psychologists used to be qualified at Masters level; indeed, this is still an option open to examiners at many universities when examining theses that aren’t good enough to meet doctoral level.  The hard reality is that it’s your thesis, and only your thesis, that allows you to call yourself a Doctor.  And don’t think your examiners, who are giving up a couple of days of their time, for not always much money, won’t believe that themselves, and look out for whether you do.

So, OK, you get my point, but you don’t like research, or you kind-of-do, but you’re scared of it.  There’s loads of free resources on the web to help you!  If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook – you should see direct links to the right of this post.  We tweet and post daily with resources that we’ve personally checked to be relevant to doctoral study in counselling psychology.

Still too much?  People often ask me ‘if there was one book you could recommend?’ Obviously, my answer changes depending on their problem, but if you’re new to and/or nervous about research (or training students who are), you could do worse than to check out The Process of Research Writing by Steven D. Krause It’s a web-based research writing textbook (textweb?) suitable for teachers and students involved in research.  Have a look at it here and see what you think.

Maybe you’ve got a better favourite, or you’d like to write a review of it for this blog?  Comment on this post or drop us a line, and we’ll post up your scribblings!

Dr Russel Ayling

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