Training for Mental Health Professionals in Research Methods Discussion

1) Michael Flautt

Re: Topic 1 DQ 1 (Obj. 1.1 and 1.2)

In reference to training for mental health professionals in research methods, Sheperis, Young, and Daniels (2017) state, “Sufficient training, usually at the master’s level or beyond, prepares counselors to understand research methodology and design as well as data analysis methods. Counselors practice under codes of ethics provided by their professional organizations, such as the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)” (p. 12).

As mentioned above, mental health professionals receive sufficient training in research from their education tract. Licensed Professional Counselors in the United States are required to have a master’s level education or higher, which involves extensive training in the field of research. Also, membership in the American Counseling Association and National Board for Certified Counselors requires ongoing continuing education credits to maintain active membership and licensure. Another example of a responsible way to incorporate research into clinical practice is by receiving ongoing supervision and consultation, which adds another level of accountability and oversight. Research in counseling is on ongoing and evolving animal that is still fairly new to the medical field. Mental health education, experience, and careers have only been around for a relatively short period of time, so the importance of keeping up to date with current research and methodologies cannot be overstated.


Sheperis, C., Young, J. S., & Daniels, M. H. (2017). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (2nd Edition). Boston: Pearson.

2) John Gallegos

Re: Topic 1 DQ 1 (Obj. 1.1 and 1.2)

Hello Everyone,

There was some research done that when conducting our own research, a counselor must follow the guidelines of human subject that are ethical. The subjects that where tested should feel better, not worse than before the counselor talked the clients into participating. The counselor must get informed consent from the client that is signed by the client. The client knows what to expect from the beginning of the study (West, 2002, p.261). Having clear consent and a good debriefing. The Belmont Report and helps us remember the autonomy and ethical means human subject are treated with during our research (The Belmont Report, 2006, p.239). It is suggested treating people with respect. We can use evidence based practiced in a way that models what we want to do. Evidence based practices can be reliable and has been effective when used the same way every time unless we did it wrong. How can we assess the risks to when conducting a study or experiment? Make sure the sample size is big enough and the participant where randomly selected. Follow the design and internal validity that makes sense (Ritter, Kim, Morgan & Carlson, 2013, p.79).


Ritter, F. E., Kim, J. W., Morgan, J. H., & Carlson, R. A. (2013). Risks to validity to avoid while

running an experiment. Running Behavioral Studies with Human Participants: A Practical

Guide. pg. 79-98. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:


Sheperis, C., Young, J., & Daniels, M. H. (2017). Counseling research: Quantitative, qualitative,

and mixed methods (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson. Retrieved from

The Belmont Report. (2006). In K. L. Lerner & B. W. Lerner (Eds.), Medicine,

Health, and Bioethics: Essential Primary Sources (pp. 238-243). Detroit, MI:

Gale. Retrieved from


West, W. (2002). Some ethical dilemmas in counselling and counselling research. British

Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 30(3), 261–268. https://doi-

3) Paul Hoffman

Re: Topic 1 DQ 2 (Obj. 1.1, 1.3, and 1.4)

When attempting to plan research with special populations, whether it is children, elderly, mentally ill, etc., there are bound to be ethical dilemmas that the counselor might face. There have been different opinions about special populations participation in research and can be attributed to their inability to give informed consent and also their need for further protection and sensitivity from the researcher as they are in greater risk of being deceived, forced or threatened to participate. Most individuals condition their responses according to the seriousness of the research, the level of potential risks and the availability of alternatives (Haas & Malouf, 2002). Researchers, Burns and Grove, stated that vulnerability increases the need for justification for the use of such participants. Principles of ethical research that should be involved is that an intense analysis of potential risks and benefits should be the first step of starting such a research and careful approach should exist both in acquiring consent and during the research procedure itself. Individuals with diminished autonomy are also more vulnerable to invasion of privacy, since their right to privacy is limited in contrast to other’s right to know. In the case of mentally ill, it is important to measure comprehension and develop valid tools for it, before obtaining informed consent to participate in a research study (Burns & Grove, 2005).

Burns N., & Grove, S. K. (2005). The practice of clinical research: Conduct, critique, and utilization, (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier/Saunders.

Haas, L.J., & Malouf, J.L. (2002). Keeping up the good work: A practitioner’s guide to mental health ethics (3rd ed.). Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.