When providing services, counselors use
techniques / procedures / modalities that are grounded in theory
and/or have an empirical or scientific foundation
Counselors do not use techniques / procedures / modalities
when substantial evidence suggests harm, even if such services are
Thus, it is critical that counselors know how to access and evaluate
research, so that they are able to make informed research decisions. Remember,
just because something has been published in a peer reviewed journal does not
mean that it is definitively true. While research can be a powerful guide, all
research has limitations, and not all research will be applicable to every
Research Informed (Evidence Based) Counseling Practice Course
Basic techniques for evaluating qualitative and quantitative
Reliability and validity in the context of assessments
Resources for finding information on evidence based practices.
Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
Research studies can be categorized as either qualitative, quantitative,
or mixed-methods (qualitative & quantitative). Some
researchers and scholars have strong opinions about which type
of research is "better". Read the following article before
responding to the reflection questions.
What beliefs do you have about qualitative and
quantitative research methods?
What are some potential research questions about
substance use counseling that are well suited to
What are some research questions about substance use
counseling that are well suited to quantitative research?
Do you identify more with qualitative or quantitative
Which of your values, biases, beliefs, and
experiences makes you align with the
research approach you selected in the previous question?
Research Competencies in Counseling
Research is a broad subject matter. People can spend their lives studying
different research methods and methodologies as well as different ways of
designing research studies. So, what do counselors need to know about
research? Check out the following study, which generated 159 different
research competencies for counselors.
What thoughts do you have regarding the above
Do you think that research showing a treatment is
effective with clients of a given culture can generalize to clients
with different cultural identities?
What are some potential considerations
for a counselor who is thinking about generalizing the results
from a study on treating alcohol use disorder
that included a sample that was mostly white males
to client who identifies as a transgendered and
of African descent?
Do you believe the counselor in the above example
would be using research to inform their practice, even if they
deviate from the counseling protocol used in the depression study
based on their client's culture?
How did you arrive at your answer to the
How can you tell which evidence based treatments are
likely to be effective with clients from a given culture?
Journals and Databases
Click here to open a .pdf listing useful journals
Journals and Databases Exploration Questions
How can you access and utilize research after
Nicotine LD50 Research
The lethal dose of a substance is the "Amount of a substance or
physical agent (e.g., radiation) that causes death when taken into
the body) (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
2013). The lethal dose 50, abbreviated LD50, is the lethal
dose of a substance or agent that will kill 50% of a given population
(e.g., mice, rats, humans, etc.). LD50 estimates are critical to
physicians, psychiatrists, and other medical professionals who are determining
how much of a given substance they can safely prescribe to a person.
However, determining the LD50 for people can be difficult, since researchers
cannot give human participants different doses of substances to measure how
many people die. Thus, LD50 data is typically inferred from research on
Estimates for the LD50 for nicotine have been available for
over a century. However, the accuracy of these estimates has recently been
called into question. Read the following peer-reviewed editorial
critiquing the currently accepted LD50 for nicotine, as well as
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health chemical
listing for nicotine before
responding to the following reflection questions.
B. (2014) How much nicotine kills a human:
Tracing back the generally accepted lethal dose to dubious
self-experiments in the nineteenth century. Archives of
Toxicology, 88(1), 5-7. doi: 10.1007/s00204-013-1127-0
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (1994).
Nicotine. Retrieved from:
The above CDC reference is the currently accepted
safety data for nicotine exposure in the workplace.
Nicotine LD50 Exploration Questions
How do you know what research is
How do you know when you can trust an authority
figure, such as your course instructor or a textbook author?
In what ways might a researchers bias impact study
How might the political climate influence what
research results are published and disseminated?