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Archived Research Studies

Research on therapists’ personal and professional experience of climate change
Jules Silva and Dr Zoë Krupka from the Cairnmillar Institute seek participants for a research study on the therapists’ experience of climate change. The research study has received Ethics Approval, Cairnmillar Institute HREC: approval code 2019/1420-15. This qualitative research project is titled: Therapists’ experience of climate change: a dialectic between personal and professional. It is being conducted in order to better understand the processes and meanings for therapists in their personal experience of climate change, as well as their experience working with clients that present with existential anxieties that may be associated with climate change. 

To participate, you will need to be an experienced therapist aged between 35 and 60 years. Participation will involve semi-structured interviews of up to 75 minutes via Zoom or in person. To express interest and request a copy of the Plain Language Information Statement, contact Jules Silva at 1420-15@cairnmillar.edu.au or text 0407 661 994 up until 30/8/2019.

Research on perspectives of mental health professionals on consumer representatives
Jody McPhee and Dr Brett Scholz from the Australian National University are seeking participants for a research study on consumer representatives. The research study has received Ethics Approval, ANU HREC – protocol number 2019/280.  The study, which is titled Perspectives of Mental Health Professionals on Consumer Representatives, is being conducted in order to understand mental health professionals’ varying experiences and perspectives on working with consumer representatives.

To participate, you will need to be a mental health professional actively involved in mental health service provision, and not working at a consumer led organisation.  Participation will involve interviews for no more than 50 minutes via skype or in person (location dependent). The closing date for recruiting participants is 25th August 2019.  For further information contact the researchers: Jody McPhee u5822287@anu.edu.au or Dr Brett Scholz brett.scholz@anu.edu.au.

Research on therapists’ perceptions of client outcomes and the therapeutic alliance in online counselling
Joshua Kubler (student researcher) and Helen Wilson (chief investigator) from the University of Southern Queensland are seeking online counsellors to participate in a study titled Therapists’ Perceptions of Client Outcomes and Therapeutic Alliance in Online Counselling,” (Ethical Approval S/19/1301). The research is a phenomenological study that aims to explore the perceptions of counsellors who are working online to determine what their experiences are of establishing a therapeutic alliance online. 

Participants will take part in a 45 minute semi-structured Zoom interview exploring experiences of using online modalities. Participants should hold current membership with PACFA and have experience counselling in face-to-face environments and online. The final date for recruitment is the 14 September 2019. Contact Joshua Kubler at jrk009@student.usc.edu.au or Helen Wilson at hwilson@usc.edu.au to express your interest in participating in an interview. 

Research into integrative approaches to counselling
Marc De Bruin in undertaking a Master of Counselling on integrative approaches to counselling. The researcher is looking to interview (face-to-face in Sippy Downs, QLD, or via Zoom conference) seven to ten degree-qualified counsellors currently in practice, ideally with more than five years’ experience. The aim of the study is to qualitatively explore Australian counsellors’ understanding and experience using multiple, integrative approaches to practice, as well as their knowledge and application of the Pluralistic Approach developed by Mick Cooper and John McLeod as an approach to integration. Ethics Approval: University of Sunshine Coast No. S191280.

To participate, contact Marc de Bruin, by 30 June 2019 at marc@simplifyinglife.com.au. A small gift (up to $10) will be offered as a token of appreciation.

Mindfulness research study
Rebecca McCabe from the Australian College of Applied Psychology is seeking participants for a research study investigating counsellors’ experiences of the use of everyday mindfulness practices for clients who are depressed and anxious. The results of this study may be used to advance the inclusion of mindfulness in counselling practice. You are eligible to participate in this study if you have used mindfulness in your practice for five or more years, work predominantly with depressed and/or anxious clients, and have a well formulated knowledge base for the use of mindfulness for depression and anxiety. Ethics approval: Australian College of Applied Psychology No. 463141218.

To participate, contact Rebecca McCabe (Associate Researcher) at 235030@my.acap.edu.au.

Creative Arts Therapy Survey
Dr Mark Pearson, Senior Lecturer in Counselling at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is unertaking a study into the developmnet of a new Masters program in Creative Arts Therapies. The survey is aimed at gathering feedback from the Australian counselling community, counsellor employers and educators, and past and present USC students, and anyone interested in creative arts therapies, to develop an evidence base for designing a new suite of ‘nested’ postgraduate programs at USC for qualifications in Creative Arts Therapies.
If you would be willing to help, please find the anonymous Survey Monkey form at this address – copy and paste into your browser: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CreativeArtsTherapySurvey.

Study on the effectiveness of training programs to develop therapist characteristics and behaviours that improve client outcomes
This study is being conducted by Professor Denis O’Hara, Dr John Meteyard, and Ms Fiona O’Hara of the School of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology, ethics approval number 277080316.  The study is designed to examine the effectiveness of PACFA accredited training courses in facilitating the development of therapist characteristics and behaviours that are known or theorised to improve outcomes for clients experiencing counselling or psychotherapy.

The researchers hope to learn how effective PACFA accredited counselling and psychotherapy programs are in facilitating the development of a range of attributes, including self-differentiation, hope, spiritual quest, self-awareness, epistemological maturity and the ability to manage counter-transference, in trainee counsellors and therapists.

Participants must be currently enrolled in a PACFA-accredited counselling or psychotherapy training program.

Participation in this study is completely voluntary and receipt of this invitation to participate in no way represents an expectation that you should take part if you do not wish to. If you wish to take part in this research study, please read through the attached Research Participant Information Statement which contains the link to the survey at the end.

The usefulness of silence by therapists
Graham Rhodes has Ethics Approval No. 267250216 to undertake a study on the usefulness of silence by therapists from the perspectives of both the therapist and the client. The study will look at the usefulness of silence by the therapist during a therapy session and will take the form of an interview of not more than two hours. The study is part of the researcher’s Masters program.

The researcher will arrange to meet with therapists interested in participating to carry out an interview, with the aim of developing a more in depth understanding of the value of silence in therapy. On completion of the study, participants will receive a copy of the completed report.

Therapists are invited to discuss the research project with your clients to encourage them to be interviewed for the research study.

For further information, including publicity flyers, please contact the researcher at 171737@my.acap.edu.au or via mobile 0418 345 307.

Tuning Relationships with Music: A Pilot Study
Dr S S Havighurst and Vivienne Colegrove have ethics approval number 1545067.1 to undertake a research study into the use of music as a intervention for parents and teenagers.

Tuning Relationships with Music (TRM) is an 8 session dyadic intervention for parents and teens (10-18 years) who would like help to improve how they communicate and deal with conflict, and where the parent has a history of interpersonal trauma. TRM uses music to help parents and teens with the nonverbal aspects of their interaction, as well as providing a way to engage the young person and assist with emotion awareness/regulation in the interpersonal context. Families do NOT have to have any music skills. I am conducting a pilot study for my PhD at Melb Uni (Mindful), using a randomised controlled design.

Families can come to either Flemington (Mindful), Headspace Craigieburn, or Eltham (Vivienne Colgrove’s private practice rooms) . All families will be seen immediately for assessment (includes clinical assessment, filling out questionnaires and a music-based observational assessment); then some will be allocated to immediate intervention, and others will have to wait 4 months and complete the research measures again before having TRM. There is no cost to families and they will receive a JB-HIFI gift card of $30.

Families or referrers can contact Vivienne Colegrove on 0409 949 300 or email vcolegrove@student.unimelb.edu.au to obtain further information about the research incuding publicity flyers.

Emotionality in Telecounselling: Emotional Awareness and Diagnostic Ability
Dr George Van Doorn and Ebrahim Alvandi have ethics approval to undertake a study on the emotionality of telecounselling.  This survey aims to explore how clinicians experience therapeutic communication via technology, and judge the emotional content of communication. If you are currently teach or educate in psychology, counselling, welfare, medicine or nursing, or describe yourself as a mental health professional who provides online or telecounselling services, we hope you will help us by participating in this research project. However, all mental health professional are encouraged to participate.

This experiment is voluntary and full anonymity and confidentiality is assured. No personal information will be collected. We anticipate the time required will be of the order of twenty minutes.

To participate, please go through the explanatory statement and access the survey by clicking the following link: https://monash.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_b7Wya5Ccdda0Q5v.

Study on mindfulness and its influence on clinical practice
Mindfulness is a quality and practice which can be beneficial in counselling and psychotherapy, from helping clients cope with anxiety to enhancing the quality of the therapeutic relationship. Mindfulness practices may include, but not limited to, meditation, yoga, Qi-Gong, body scan, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, mindful eating, and more. All mental health practitioners with interest and involvement in mindfulness are encouraged to apply to participate in this study.

The study explores the practitioners’ experiences of practising mindfulness, the effect it has on themselves, and on their clinical practice. The benefits of participating in the study may include increased awareness of mindfulness on themselves and their practice, as well as contributing to the field of mindfulness in counselling. This study is being undertaken by Tanya Luangsangthong, HREC Approval number is 240250815.

Participation involves a Skype interview of 45-minute to an hour at a time of your convenience. Participation is voluntary and confidential. Please email Tanya via 221560@my.acap.edu.au  or call 0422 131 444 for more information or expression of interest.

Counsellors’ experience of the therapeutic relationship in online counselling
Arti Mayan has Ethics Approval No 236030815 to undertake a study aimed at gaining understanding of the counsellor’s experience of the therapeutic relationship in online counselling.

The therapeutic relationship is an important part of the counselling process, which involves various elements, such as trust, empathy and transparency etc. Technology has had an influence on the counselling profession with online counselling and therapy becoming more common. In the literature, there are different views on the development of the therapeutic relationship in online counselling. Richard and Vigano (2009) state that some online counsellors found rapport building with clients challenging, because they are not physically present, whereas Fletcher-Tomenius and Vossler (2009) found other counsellors argue clients prefer online counselling because it is convenient and clients feel less anxious as a result of not being present in the room. The convenience and lack of anxiety helps build an open relationship between the client and the therapist.

There is a lack of research exploring the counsellor’ experience as most research has focused on clients’ experience. Therefore, exploring the counsellors’ experience will give broader insight and knowledge into what therapeutic relationship means to counsellors who practice online counselling.

Participation: Counsellors who are currently practising, or have practised as online counsellors, are invited to participate in the study. A one-hour recorded face-to-face interview is required, preferably in Melbourne. To participate in the study, or for further information, please email arti.mayan@my.acap.edu.au.

Invitation to participate in PACFA-funded research on ethics – Keeping Trust in Real-Life Therapy Sessions
Dr Andrea Lamont-Mills and Mr Steven Christensen from the University of Southern Queensland have Ethics approval number H14REA08 to undertake a study looking at how informed consent and confidentiality is talked about in real-life counselling or psychotherapy consultations.  The study has received a research seed grant from PACFA.

According to PACFA’s Code of Ethics, gaining and maintaining the trust of clients is critical to best practice.  The code explicitly requires that practitioners obtain explicit informed consent to provide therapy with a client.  We are inviting practising counsellors and psychotherapists to participate in the research study which will extend our knowledge of how informed consent and confidentiality is introduced by counsellors and psychotherapists and how it is understood by clients.  The study help improve the therapy process by helping counsellors and psychotherapists become more aware of how they talk to clients and how different ways of discussing informed consent and confidentiality can impact upon client understandings of these issues.

To participate in the study, please email andrea.lamont-mills@usq.edu.au. For further information about the study, please contact Dr Andrea Lamont-Mills, phone (07) 3470 4134 or mobile 0409 639 148.

Research participants wanted for study on the impact of mental health work on practitioner wellbeing
There is increasing interest in protecting employees and preventing ill-health by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours, self-care and colleague support. We are seeking the participation of mental health professionals who are employed by organisations to work with clients experiencing mental illness. This study investigates employee health, burnout and engagement and factors such as participation in health behaviours, workplace belonging and psychological capital.

This study is being undertaken by Lisa Johnson as part of her Masters of Organisational Psychology degree at Griffith University, Ethics approval number: PSY/83/15/HREC, and is supervised by Professor Paula Brough.

Participation involves completing an anonymous online questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire, participants are able to provide their contact details (separate from their questionnaire responses) to go into the draw for one of three $50 Coles/Myers vouchers. The online survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

All mental health professional are encouraged to participate. Simply click on the link the anonymous online research questionnaire: http://griffithbbh.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_dp2GLT05jCqTHy5

Invitation to participate in study on Attitudes to Overweight and Obesity in Mental Health Professionals
Dr Sharon Grant  and Mr Toby Mizzi from Swinburne University of Technology have Ethics Approval for a study on Attitudes to Overweight and Obesity in Mental Health Professionals.

Weight bias has been described as one of the last socially acceptable forms of prejudice (Lewis & Van Puymbroeck, 2008). Although anti-fat attitudes are widespread, factors such as motives to control prejudice may account for differences in such attitudes. Devine, Plant, Amodio, Harmon-Jones, and Vance (2002) distinguished between internal motives to control prejudice (internalisation of egalitarian motives) and external motives to control prejudice (e.g., impression management). One might expect internal motives to control prejudice to increase over the course of psychological studies or work experience, as practitioners learn to accept and empathise with others. If this is the case, then psychology components to address stigma in health sciences courses may assist in reducing weight stigma among health professionals.

The current study aims to assess implicit and explicit anti-fat attitudes and motives to control prejudice among training (provisional) and registered psychologists and counsellors. The researchers have completed similar projects in 2012 measuring biases among undergraduate psychology student cohorts (first and final year).   Additionally, this study will explore several factors which may contribute to anti-fat attitudes and pro-thin bias such as knowledge of obesity, how someone might make judgements based on appearance, and experience in working with obese individuals. If you wish to participate in this project, please go to http://research.millisecond.com/socialpsych/CombinedStudy2.web

For further information, please contact Toby Mizzi at tmizzi@swin.edu.au or phone (03) 9214 4436.

Study on Personal psychotherapy for psychotherapists.
Linda Phillips from Victoria University is investigating what psychotherapy clients think about psychotherapists engaging in personal psychotherapy (Ethics ID: HRE 13-301). TITLE: Personal psychotherapy for psychotherapists. Since the inception of psychotherapy, personal psychotherapy for psychotherapists has been debated by professionals. But what do psychotherapy clients think about psychotherapists having personal psychotherapy? Researchers from Victoria University want to find out. Anyone 18 + who has ever had psychotherapy/counselling can participate in the 10-15 minute online survey. Click here to take part.

Study on Psychotherapists and Counsellors Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and Activities: Influence on Theoretical Orientation and Practice 
James Ising, Psychology honours student at the University of Southern Queensland, is seeking research participants for a project titled Psychotherapists and Counsellors Religious and Spiritual Beliefs and Activities: Influence on Theoretical Orientation and Practice (Ethics Approval No. H14REA042). While most therapists practise being objective, setting boundaries, and respecting the differences of their clients, therapists do nevertheless have their own sets of assumptions, frames of reference, beliefs, and priorities that may affect their interactions with clients. The study aims to explore how therapists view their religious or spiritual upbringing, how their current beliefs and activities influence and interact with their choice of theoretical orientation, and in what ways client interactions are influenced or affected by current religious of spiritual beliefs or http://essayonlinewriter.com/proofreading-services/ activities. Only a small number of experienced practitioners will be recruited into this qualitative study. A one-hour audio-recorded semi structured interview either face-to-face, via telephone or Skype will be required, talking about religious and spiritual experiences on orientation and practice, with a possible 20 minute follow up interview to clarify details.  Practitioners interested in participating in this study, should contact the researcher on w0068204@umail.usq.edu.au or phone 0412 742 927 to arrange a time and place to conduct the interview.

Study on malpractice and regulation for counselling professionals in Australia
Paul Kremer, PhD candidate from Monash University is conducting research on the topics of malpractice and regulation for counselling professionals in Australia. The Monash University Ethics Committee approval reference is CF13/2485-2013001319.  This study aims to understand the antecedents to becoming a counsellor and to explore counsellor behaviours and ethics. The research will be of considerable benefit to current and future counselling and therapy clients as the findings may inform future policy concerning regulation. Outcomes may also be used in developing educational content supporting counsellor supervision and personal/professional development.Counsellors and psychotherapists engaged in counselling-related roles are invited to take part in the study. To complete the online the survey, which takes approximately 30-35 minutes, go to http://www.psyence.com.au/survey. Should you have any questions concerning this research project please call Paul Kremer or Mark Symmons on 03 9902 6747 or email paul.kremer@monash.eduor mobile 0418 599 565.

Research into the factors that influence practice in social care
Ros Darracott, PhD research candidate at the Queensland University of Technology has Ethic Approval No. QUT HREC 1200000139 to undertake research into the factors that influence practice in social care. The research will help develop a framework to assist practitioners, managers and supervisors to make sense310-035 of complex practice situations and make more informed practice choices. Participants need to have some form of tertiary qualification, have a minimum of 2 years practice experience and be working directly with clients (e.g. counselling, therapy, case management, support). The information and consent form and survey can be found at https://survey.qut.edu.au/f/175657/24d3/ or contact the researcher on 0427 047 893 or rosalyn.darracott@qut.edu.au.

Study investigating employee health
Lisa Johnson, a Psychology honours student at Australian Catholic University, is investigating employee health using a bio-psychosocial approach to the examination of the factors 70-523-Csharp that contribute to employee wellbeing. Ethics approval number: 201283Q. We are seeking Counsellors, Psychologists and other mental health professionals who are employed by an organisation (rather than self-employed) and work with clients with mental illness. Should you have any questions or concerns please contact Lisa Johnson lljohn004@myacu.edu.au or Dr Cathryne Lang Cathryne.Lang@acu.edu.au. If you would like to participate in the survey questionnaire and read more information, please click here.

Study examining what mental health conditions are being treated or managed by exercise and what methods of exercise prescription are currently being used
Dr Lovell and Dr Kannis – The researchers are staff members of the University of the Sunshine Coast, have Ethics Approval Number A10263 to conduct an online survey examining what mental health conditions are being treated or managed by exercise and what methods of exercise prescription are currently being used. Furthermore, to examine what issues are considered to be key road-blocks to the prescription of exercise for mental health by practitioners treating patients with mental health concerns. If you are interested, please click here for further details, the researchers’ contact details, and to complete the survey.

Study of online counselling in secondary schools
Kevin Glasheen, a PhD student at QUT, has Ethics Approval Number 0900000406 to conduct a study into online counselling in secondary schools. If you are interested, please click here for further details or contact Kevin by email on k.glasheen@qut.edu.au.

The Effects of mindfulness and metta mediation training on the therapist and the therapeutic relationship
Geoff Newbegin, Master of Counselling Psychology student at La Trobe University has Ethics Approval Number FHEC11/20 for a study entitled ‘The Effects of mindfulness and metta mediation training on the therapist and the therapeutic relationship.If you are interested, please click here for further details or contact Geoff on 0414 410 298.

Research on the practices of therapists in high conflict child custody cases
Stephanie O’Rourke, a Psychology honours student at University of Tasmania, has Ethics Approval Number H0011851 to conduct a study into the practices of therapists in high conflict child custody cases. If you work in this field and are interested in this study, for further details contact Stephanie by email on slo@postoffice.utas.edu.au.

Study to investigate clinicians’ perceptions of the core processes of 3 therapy approaches
Katrina Boterhoven de Haan, a Psychology honours student at Murdoch University, has Ethics Approval Number 2011/189 to conduct a study to investigate clinicians’ perceptions of the core processes of 3 therapy approaches (SFT, CBT, PDT). Should you be willing to participate in this research please click here which will take you to a website and allow for you to complete the questionnaire online. You will be asked to indicate to your consent to participate in this study. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this study contact Katrina at kat_boterhoven@hotmail.com or Dr Chris Lee, chris.lee@murdoch.edu.au.

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.