Research

This page is intended to inform and encourage Gestalt therapy research. You may wish to post an abstract of your research project. If there is sufficient interest we could develop a forum.

Gestalt Practice Research Network (PRN)

This has been formed to develop a database for Gestalt therapy using the CORE outcome evaluation measure, which is widely used in primary and secondary mental health services at a national level. All Gestalt practitioners in private or public sector work settings are invited to participate. Details are given below.

A quick and easy way to get started with the Gestalt CORE project (As at March 2009)

The Gestalt CORE project is off to a good start, with enough sets of data for us to be able to do some initial processing and see some interesting results. What we need is as many practitioners as possible on board, using the questionnaires and sending them in to our data collector. Now is a good time to start if you have not already given it a go. PLEASE – we need your help with this – this is about building an evidence base for Gestalt Therapy so we have some statistics we can quote about our efficacy etc. Also, it is becoming widely recognized as good practice to do some form of evaluation of the service we are offering. Practitioners reflecting on the results of the CORE data regularly report finding it a stimulating and useful exercise that helps them reflect in a positive way on how they are practising. You will be issued with an anonymous therapist ID number so your results are not connected by others to you, but you can request your own results if you like.

This can be seen as a Step 1 / pilot piece of research. Started in September 2007, it is ongoing for the forseeable future, and we are advised to gather as large a sample of data as possible as we go along, and to keep collecting.

Please contact Jude Waring at judith@warings.freeserve.co.uk with any questions you may have, now and along the way. She will be happy to help.

All the forms you need to get started are available via PDF download below.

The forms you will need for each client set of data are:

Outcome Measures (x 2) 
Each being a ’34 tick box questionnaire’ that your client fills in, one at the very start of therapy and one at the very end, for short-term work. If you are doing long-term work, we ask you to collect an outcome measure every 12 sessions, so you will need to use extra forms, and you may have quite a few by the end. Don’t worry it’s unobtrusive, and easy to get the client to do as you go along.

Therapist Assessment Form
End of Therapy Form
Both of these are quite quick and easy to fill in once you get the hang of them. They can be done after the client is finished. We’re happy to talk them through with you till you get the hang of them. There are particular codes needed at the tops of the forms, for which an information sheet is available for download below – you can talk these through with us also. Once you know what your particular codes are, and make a note of them, you will keep using the same ones for subsequent forms.

CORE Administration Checklist
A simple tick box summary to show whether you are sending in a complete set of forms or if any are missing. Complete sets of data are the ones from which various analysis can be done, so if at all possible, it is really good if you can get complete sets. Sometimes it’s not possible, eg if a client leaves before filling in the last form – we still need this data, but it can’t be used in the analysis – just in the overall stats of total quantity of data being gathered, which is also important to know.

Also available for download are:

Client Information Sheet and Consent
Each client needs to be given one of these when asked to complete the first questionnaire, so they are clear what the information will be used for if they go ahead.

Manager Consent Form
This is a letter for the manager of your service to sign to say it is okay to use data collected from the service for the Gestalt CORE project. Most managers have been happy to sign and are interested in the project. There is a detailed protocol of the project available if they require more information. Let us know and we can e-mail it to you. If you already use CORE in the service of your work, you can duplicate the data, by photocopying it and sending it to us, with our specific codes on the top parts. Ask your manager for consent in just the same way. If you’re in private practice, obviously there is no manager consent to obtain.

We suggest it is a case of JUST GET STARTED / GIVE IT A GO. Even if you are not particularly enamoured with trying to objectively measure such a complex subjective experience of therapy, there is a lot to gain from having a go at this, for us all individually, and for our Gestalt profession as a whole, and your results will be an invaluable contribution to the project.

Don’t get bogged down with the forms — ask for help any time you need. What is important is that you do record the really obvious, straightforward things as you go along such as date form given, referral date, first date attended, date therapy ended and that you keep some sort of record of which form is for which client. As long as you have those basics securely done, it is possible to fill in the other details retrospectively, without getting the forms mixed up or confused. When you send the forms then, no one will know who your clients are — only you will have kept some sort of reference for that.

You send the forms to Christine Stevens, CORE Project, Malvern House, 41 Mapperley Road, Nottingham, NG3 5AQ. Christine has the computer installation for processing the data, and anyone interested is welcome to be on the team of inputters. Just let us know if you would like a go at that too.

You will need a therapist ID code from Christine too. You can contact her directly viaChristine@britishgestaltjournal.com. Only Christine has access to the ID code.

There are a variety of ways to present the outcome measure questionnaire to your clients, and practitioners are choosing the way they feel suits them and their practice best. Again ask for ideas if you need.

Evaluation Proposal

Administration Checklist

Therapy Assessment Form

End of Therapy Form

Outcome Measure

Client Information & Consent

CORE Codes

Project Specific Codes

Managers Consent Form