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Research Studies

PACFA supports research into counselling and psychotherapy. As a service to the field, we list current research studies being undertaken by academics and students who ask us to publicise their research.

PACFA wishes to support researchers who are undertaking counselling and psychotherapy research. PACFA Registrants and other counsellors and psychotherapists are encouraged to participate in these research studies, and where appropriate, to encourage clients to participate in studies.

Latest Research Studies

PACFA only publicises studies with Human Research Ethics Approvals. If you have any concerns about the research, or its conduct, please contact the researcher or the relevant Human Research Ethics Committee.

Cultural competence in mental health practitioners in Australia

Inge-Marie Piekkala is an honours student in the School of Psychology and Counselling at QUT, under the supervision of Dr Kate Murray has QUT Ethics Approval Number: 1800000788.

The purpose of this research project is to collect data to measure cultural competency in mental health professionals in Australia and evaluate how training experiences and practice-based factors are related to mental health service delivery for diverse populations. Mental health professionals, for this study, are people providing mental health services as psychologists, counsellors, mental health nurses, mental health social workers, occupational therapists and psychiatrists.

The aim is to identify areas for improvements in training to provide more effective services to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) clients. As one of the most multicultural countries in the world, the need for cultural competence has been identified as one of the most desired outcome improvements in mental health services.

PACFA members are invited to participate in this research project.

To complete the survey, click the following link: www.survey.qut.edu.au

Have your say about digital interventions

Dale Rowland is an honours student from Griffith University who is conducting a study that seeks to develop a tool that measures mental health professionals’ attitudes and behaviours towards, and intentions to use, digital interventions in therapy (GU ethics approval 2017/749).

There is a need not only for greater access to treatments for mental illness, but also for improved efficacy in those currently being delivered. For these reasons, the use of technologically based and adjunctive approaches to treatment of mental illnesses has been argued to be of particular importance. Given the Australian government’s endorsement of ‘e-Mental Health’ or ‘digital interventions’, the current research project seeks to gain an understanding of mental health professionals’ perceptions towards technology use in the therapy.

We are looking for Psychologists, Mental health Nurses, Psychiatrists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, General Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Music Therapists, Social Workers or related mental health professionals to participate. Participants do not need to be using digital interventions within their current practice.

You will be asked to respond to a set of questions pertaining to your qualifications, background and work, in addition to questions specific to digital interventions. Other surveys have been included in this survey that relate to constructs relevant to the development of the tool. The survey takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Upon completing the survey you will be given the option to provide your contact information to participate in a follow up study.

To complete the survey, click the following link: https://prodsurvey.rcs.griffith.edu.au/eTAP_T. The information you provide will be anonymous. Your participation is voluntary.

A phenomenological study on the lived experience of the wounded healer in psychotherapeutic private practice

Loredana Puñal, a final year student of the Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy program at the Jansen Newman Institute, under the supervision of Dr Werner Sattmann-Frese, has Torrens University Australia Human Ethics Research Committee approval H61/17 to undertake a study aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the nature and meaning of the everyday lived experience of the wounded healer in private practice.

Research participants are sought, for semi-structured interviews of up to 60 minutes duration, from amongst integrative psychotherapists who subscribe to both psychodynamic and humanistic orientations, to ensure both a familiarity with Jung’s wounded healer concept and a holistic approach to embracing the wounded healer phenomenon.

By participating in this study, participants may benefit from the opportunity for self-reflection, articulation and gaining of clarity and insight into their wounded healer experience as well as make a contribution to the professional community and society by furthering the knowledge, compassion towards and dialogue of the particular challenges and contributions of the practicing wounded healer psychotherapist.

If you would like to learn more about this study, including participation criteria and risk mitigation strategies such as confidentiality and anonymity safeguards, please send an email to loredana.punal@students.jni.edu.au or forward this to anyone who may be interested. Thank you for your consideration.

Participants wanted for study on stress and help-seeking among mental health professionals

Melissa Hill from Griffith University has ethics approval no. 2017/398 to undertake a study aimed at developing a new scale-based measure of mental health professionals’ perceived stigma towards occupational stress and burnout, as well as to understand workplace factors related to stress and burnout in this population.

Mental health professionals are thought to delay or avoid help-seeking for work-related stress and burnout. More empirical studies are needed to understand this issue. Accordingly this study seeks to develop a reliable and valid measure of attitudes towards stress and burnout and to advance understanding of mental health professional’s experience of work stress, burnout, and help-seeking.

We are looking for qualified Mental Health Professionals to participate in this study. Participation involves completing an online questionnaire that will take approximately 20 minutes.

By participating in this study you have the chance to enter a prize draw for one major prize of $100 Coles Myer gift card or one of five $20 Coles Myer gift cards.

Participants will be given the option of providing contact information to participate in further research or receive a summary of the research findings.

To complete the online survey click on this link: https://prodsurvey.rcs.griffith.edu.au/prodls200/index.php/944149?lang=en

The research results will be reported in two separate Honours student dissertations, and revised for publication in academic journals. All data will be combined and reported as group data. No identifiable individual participant information will be presented.

Archived Research Studies

Go to the Archived Research Studies page.