The relationship between research and counseling

The relationship between research and counseling

The relationship between research and counseling

Research is important in the field of counseling and psychology because it can help us to understand the profession, shed light on the theories and concepts, and to determine if the application of theories and concepts actually improve mental health. Research is the best mechanism for determining if something is effective and if so, what parts and why.

Write a 750-1,000-word paper about the importance of research in the field of counseling.

Include the following in your paper:

  1. The relationship between research and counseling
  2. The roles and responsibilities of researchers in the counseling profession
  3. At least two scholarly resources to support your paper

TEXT for class,and to use as one of your references on homework questions and papers: Read Chapters 1-3 of Essential First Steps to Data Analysis: Scenario-Based Examples Using SPSS, by Parke, from Sage Publications, Inc. (2013).

Note: all references for this class must be within the last 5 years and a warning from my teacher “This is a warning for everyone that if you use websites for your sources for your papers or discussion posts you will lose points.” use scholarly articles for everything I guess.

The Relationship between Research, Theory, and Family Sample Paper

Family is diverse and fluid, as was addressed in the last unit. The American family does not have a predetermined model. The family has always piqued the interest of sociologists, who have conducted extensive research on the subject and created a variety of hypotheses to explain why particular family patterns exist in society. The relationship between research and counseling

One needs to have a certain comprehension of each of these concepts in order to start understanding the connections between research, theory, and family. family is first. As was mentioned above, there is no single definition that encompasses all aspects of family. However, for the sake of this essay, family will be defined as people who live together and/or are related to one another either biologically or by marriage. The Sociology of Family textbook asserts that theory is a kind of glass through which one can observe the world (Hammond). It is a method of examining and learning about abstract concepts.

Additionally, it directs research, which is frequently used to either support a theory or expose its flaws. If sufficient investigation reveals a theory to have serious problems, it is frequently either changed or abandoned entirely. The relationship between research and counseling

As more theories on families and the behaviours they exhibit emerge, our understanding of families and their behaviours is essentially expanded. This essay will go over some of the main theories surrounding families, the underlying grand theory from which they developed, and how they explain particular family dynamics. Family Systems Theory, Social Learning Theory, Queer Theory, and Transfamily Theory are a few of the theories that have been applied in family research.

Family Systems Theory

Family systems theory stems from the grand theory of Structural Functionalism (Hammond). This theory views the family, when it’s healthy, working like a well-oiled machine. Each part has its own function, but also works together for the benefit of the family. When a family is dysfunctional, a researcher will look at the different family systems and analyze the family connections to determine where the problem lies in hopes of seeing a pattern that can be fixed. The relationship between research and counseling

Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory, is an interdisciplinary theory, that would most like fall under the grand theory of Symbolic Interactionism in Sociology. In Psychology, it might fall under a different classification. Social learning theory explains the idea of reward and punishment (Johnson, 2015).

The theory suggests that if you reward a behavior, then that behavior will increase and if you punish a behavior, that behavior will decrease. In regard to families, and in particular couples, some researchers suggest that to create a healthy relationship, each partner must reward the behaviors they want to see their partner do more, and punish behaviors they want to see less.Johnson and Bradbury (2015) discuss how the social learning theory is often used in helping better marital relationships, but come to the conclusion, that the simplistic nature of the theory and the research done by using it, is not efficient in helping these relationships.

Johnson and Bradbury (2015) argue that social learning theory is limited in regard to improving relationships. Johnson and Bradbury (2015) also highlight how much money was wasted in creating programs that used social learning theory in relationships when there was not enough evidence supporting that it even worked. According to the Office of Family Assistance website over 47 organizations were funded to implement these programs in the U.S. One could argue that the money spent on these programs could have been put to better use. The relationship between research and counseling

Queer Theory

Queer theory is explained as a theory that challenges heteronormativity (Few-Demo, 2016). It would most likely fall under the grand theory of Conflict theory as it pushes back against traditionalism (Crossman, 2017). Under the sociological study of families, queer theory is used when discussing LGBT families. Few-Demo, Humble, Curran, and Lloyd (2016) discuss the need for queer theory to be taught in sociology and family and suggest that traditional family theories are ill equipped to handle the discussion of LGBT families and this often leaves these families excluded from the conversation of families.

Transfamily Theory

Similarly, to queer theory, transfamily theory challenges heteronormativity, but also cisnormativity, which is the belief that there are only two genders (McGuire, 2016). This theory would most likely stem from the grand theory, Conflict theory, just like queer theory. McGuire, Kuvalanka, Catalpa, Toomey (2016) argue that transfamily theory challenges the following ideas: 1. That sex is binary 2. That gender is binary 3. How gender is constructed 4. How gender identity develops and 5. What family means when it consists of a transgender individual. Just like queer theory, transfamily theory suggests that the traditional models and family theories are insufficient when discussing families because they exclude transfamilies (McGuire, 2016).

Conclusion The relationship between research and counseling

As was discussed above there are many theories that can be used to guide research when it comes to families. Each theory providing a different lens in which to see different patterns. Hammond discussed how different theories can look at the situation of divorce and see divorce in completely different ways. While this can be beneficial to sociologists and everyday people, because it can expand one’s knowledge about patterns they see in society, a certain level of caution must be exercised when discussing theory. As seen in the case of using social learning theory in marriage relationships, it is not always efficient.

Theories discuss abstract ideas and complex problems, patterns, and people. They are theories, because though they are testable, they cannot be proven. As discussed above, sometimes they need to be adapted because of new knowledge and understanding. So, although they offer a lens in which to see the world, and can guide researchers, they need to be respected for what they are, theories. The relationship between research and counseling

References The relationship between research and counseling

  1. Crossman, A. (2017, August 4). Understanding conflict theory. Retrieved September 15, 2017, from
  2. Few-Demo, A. L., Humble, &. M., Curran, M. A., & Lloyd, S. A. (2016). Queer theory, intersectionality, and LGBT-parent families: Transformative critical pedagogy in family theory. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8, 74-94.
  3. Hammond, R., Cheney, P., & Pearsey, R. (n.d.). Sociology of the family.
  4. Healthy marriage and relationship education demonstration grants. (2016, November 10). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from Office of Familiy Assistance website:…
  5. Johnson, M. D., & Bradbury, T. N. (2015). Contributions of social learning theory to the promotion of healthy relationships: Asset or liability? Journal of Family Theory & Review, 7, 13-27.
  6. McGuire, J. K., Kuvalanka, K. A., Catalpa, J. M., & Toomey, R. B. (2016). Transfamily theory: How the presence of trans* family members informs gender development in families. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 8, 60-73.

The relationship between research and counseling