Ethical guidelines for researching counselling and psychotherapy

We are committed to promoting the best possible research into our areas of activity, whether this is undertaken by our own members or by independent researchers. This research includes systematic monitoring and evaluation of services, as well as small and large-scale academically-based studies of issues related to the counselling professions.

These guidelines aim to promote and inform good research practice. They should be read alongside the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, in particular Good Practice points 68 to 74.

They may also be referenced in the Professional Conduct Procedure to consider in any issues arising from research undertaken by BACP members.

Ethical guidelines for researching counselling and psychotherapy (pdf 0.3MB)

These guidelines are currently being updated and a new version will be published in early 2018.

Research publications

Publications are listed alphabetically by topic and may include:

  • literature and evidence summaries - an overview of the available research on the topic
  • research guidelines - to help practitioners develop research skills, undertake ethical research and provide training in research methods
  • research reports - report of research undertaken or commissioned by BACP, including the research methods and key findings
  • systematic reviews - a comprehensive summary of the current research literature on the topic, using a structured methodology to identify what studies to include

Adjustment disorders

Adjustment disorders: A summary of the evidence for psychological therapies 2013 (pdf 0.3MB)

Children, young people and families

Guide to measuring psychological outcomes in children: overview of the literature 2011 (pdf 0.6MB)

Psychological therapies for ante and post natal depression: a summary of the evidence 2012 (pdf 0.3MB)

Research on counselling and psychotherapy with children and young people: a systematic scoping review of the evidence for its effectiveness from 2003 to 2011 (pdf 1.1MB)

Working in the NHS: the state of children's services (pdf 0.5MB)

Depression

Psychological therapies for depression: A summary of the evidence 2012 (pdf 0.3MB)

Eating disorders

Helpful and unhelpful aspects of eating disorders treatment involving psychological therapy 2013 (pdf 0.9MB)

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Counselling professionals' awareness and understanding of Female Genital Mutilation: training needs for working therapeutically with survivors 2016 (pdf 1.5MB)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

A systematic review of research on counselling and psychotherapy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people 2007 (pdf 0.7MB)

Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) and long-term conditions

Counselling for medically unexplained symptoms 2010 (pdf 0.3MB)

Counselling and psychological therapy for children with long-term medical conditions (LTCs): a narrative review of the literature 2015 (pdf 0.5MB)

Military service personnel

Research relating to counselling military service personnel 2009 (pdf 0.3MB)

Older people

Counselling older people: A summary of the literature 2010 (pdf 0.3MB)

Counselling older people: a systematic scoping review 2004 (pdf 0.8MB)

Psychological interventions for carers of people with dementia: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative evidence 2012 (pdf 1.9MB)

The experiences of counselling and psychotherapy from the perspective of carers of people with dementia 2012 (pdf 0.9MB)

Practice settings

A systematic scoping review of the research on counselling in higher and further education 2006 (pdf 4.2MB)

Choice of therapies in IAPT: an overview of the availability and client profile of step 3 therapies 2016 (pdf 1MB)

Counselling in primary care: a systematic review of the evidence 2008 (pdf 0.5MB)

Counselling in prisons: A summary of the literature 2010 (pdf 0.2MB)

Counselling in the workplace: a comprehensive review of the research evidence - 2nd edition 2008 (pdf 0.7MB)

Mental health provision in women's community services: findings from a survey conducted in England and Wales 2014 (pdf 2.8MB)

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

PTSD: A summary of the evidence for psychological therapies 2012 (pdf 0.3MB)

Self-harm and suicide

Counselling and psychotherapy for the prevention of suicide: a systematic review of the evidence 2009 (pdf 4.8MB) 

Supervision

The impact of clinical supervision on counsellors and therapists, their practice and their clients: a systematic review of the literature 2007 (pdf 0.6MB)