How to Do Research in Your Private Practice, Philadelphia 2014

Jacqueline B. Persons

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Science Center, Oakland, CA and University of California at Berkeley

Download the training handouts

ABCT clinicians strive to be scientist-practitioners, and to both consume and contribute to the research literature. However, contributing to the research literature while working in a private practice setting is difficult. In this training workshop, Jackie Persons works with workshop attendees to identify and begin to overcome obstacles to conducting research in their private practice. She will ask clinicians to set goals for their workshop experience and for implementing what they learn in the workshop in their clinical practice (and to give her permission to collect data to evaluate their progress and to allow her to use those data for research purposes). She will discuss ethical issues, and how and when to obtain informed consent from patients. She will propose that the foundation of a clinical practice in which research is conducted is a practice in which the clinician collects data at intake and at every therapy session to guide the clinical work. Accordingly, she will describe procedures and present tools that can be used to conduct a comprehensive intake assessment and to track process and outcome at every session, and she will help workshop attendees strengthen skills to address patient noncompliance with progress monitoring procedures. Dr. Persons will also help workshop attendees select research questions that are feasible for a private practice setting, and identify strategies that will help them write up the project and submit it for a conference presentation and journal publication.

Level: Basic to Intermediate

Key words: private practice, progress monitoring, clinical research

You will learn:

-Strategies to address ethical issues that arise when conducting research in a private practice setting
-Strategies to overcome obstacles to conducting research in your private practice
-Tools and skills for monitoring your patients’ therapy progress at every session


Recommended readings:

Hayes, S. C., Barlow, D. H., & Nelson-Grey, R. O. (1999). The scientist-practitioner:  Research and accountability in the age of managed care. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. (especially Chapter 9)

Lambert, M. J., et al. (2005). Providing feedback to psychotherapists on their patients’ progress: Clinical results and practice suggestions. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61: 165-174.

Persons, J. B. (2007). Psychotherapists collect data during routine clinical work that can contribute to knowledge about mechanisms of change in psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 14(3): 244-246.