Research

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The PACFA Research Committee drives PACFA’s research agenda. It has developed a research plan, through consultation with the PACFA Board, PACFA Council, members of PACFA Member Associations, and other interested stakeholders.

The Research Committee aims to stimulate interest in conducting research into the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy, in order to ‘develop the science relating to the art and practice of psychotherapy and counselling’ (PACFA Constitution, 2011).

One of the aims of the Research Committee is to ensure that any research conducted by PACFA on behalf of its Member Associations is well designed, ethically conducted, cost effective, and presented in a useful manner.
The Research Committee has identified a number of current priorities and is currently overseeing a number of research projects and is supporting the continuing development of the PACJA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia. It has also published a number of research reports.

Download the Research Committee Terms of Reference.

For current research projects, go to the Research Projects page.

PACFA’s current research priorities

The PACFA Research Committee, with input from the PACFA Board, PACFA Council and other stakeholders, has identified several significant priorities:

  • Develop the body of knowledge and evidence-base to support counselling and psychotherapy in general and specific modalities in particular
  • Collect research evidence that supports practice and demonstrates outcomes, rather than promoting the medical model of evidence-based practice
  • Provide information that can be used to educate the public about how counselling and psychotherapy can prevent mental illness and support wellbeing and recovery
  • Collect information that can be used to inform stakeholders about the economic contribution of counselling to prevention of mental illness
  • Conduct research to support PACFA’s representations to government for recognition of counselling and psychotherapy
  • Develop research into professional identity and recognition for the profession
  • Support counselling and psychotherapy in rural and remote areas and for clients with low social inclusion
  • Support the development of PACJA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia
  • Build research capacity, confidence, and expertise among counsellors and psychotherapists

We intend to do our best, given that our main resource is the time so generously volunteered by individuals, to make significant progress towards these priorities. Please feel free to send your comments about these research priorities to natresearch@pacfa.org.au.