PhD student David Sanmartino is excited to start research that will have the clients’ perspective at its centre.

David’s received a fully-funded PhD research opportunity, thanks to York St John University, BACP and UKCP.

Over the next three years he’ll be exploring and evaluating routine outcome measures in clinical and therapeutic practice.

David said: “There’s a lot of literature on routine outcome measures, but it’s from the clinicians’ and therapists’ perspectives. There’s not enough from the clients’ perspective.

Clients' perspective

“The clients’ perspective has to be at the heart of this research.”

He added: “We need to find out what works for the client. If it works for the client, as therapists, we should adapt ourselves and our theoretical approaches.”

A variety of outcome measures and monitoring scales are used in the psychological professions and aim to provide standard, reliable measurement of the results and impact of the therapy.

But a hot topic of debate within the professions is what constitutes ‘effective’ therapy and how that is determined and measured.

“There are many different perspectives on it within counselling and psychotherapy, “ said David.

“Person-centred therapists may not be as comfortable in some areas with outcomes measures as clinical psychologists, so we need to discuss how this can work for all approaches.”

David’s only a few weeks into his PhD and still working with the project team to finalise the research questions and title of his project.

He’s been pleased to secure the studentship and meet the research team.


David added: “It’s been amazing. I’m so proud to have this opportunity. Meeting the research team and the people from BACP and UKCP – it’s just been ‘wow.’”

David started out as a theatre actor after completing a degree in drama.

This first career sparked his interest in non-verbal communication and encouraged him to make the switch to psychology and then psychotherapy.

He completed a Masters degree from Abertay University in counselling and psychotherapy – the pluralistic approach.

David added: “I had the best team at Abertay and they’ve been very supportive and encouraged me to apply for this studentship.”

He added: “It’s been a rich journey. I love the collaboration of humanistic therapy and I’m really excited about what comes next.”