Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Theoretical Orientation Research

     I would like to take a little time to write some about a research project I would like to undergo. This research has to do with the selection of a theoretical orientation. The aim of the research is to find out whether there is any statistical relationship between personality type and theoretical orientation. I would like to add in a questionnaire about when field clinicians think they chose their orientation and whether they have experienced any changes in their orientations throughout their careers.
     The tools to be used here are manifold. There is a good theoretical orientation sorter out there that I have use in the past call Selective Theory Sorter - Revised. It is from a book by the name of Developing Your Theoretical Orientation in Counseling and Psychotherapy. This tool asks the user questions and grades their reactions, in the end giving them a numerical output for twelve well-known theories for further research.
     The next tool is a shortened version of the Myers-Briggs test call the Myers-Briggs Preference Sorter. This tool is much shorter than the Myers-Briggs and can be taken in about ten minutes, rather than the multiple-hour exam that is the normal evaluation.
     The third part to this study would be a questionnaire for both current students and professionals. This questionnaire, which I hope to elaborate on later, has demographic questions as well as questions about their current place of work/study and their own ideas about theoretical orientation.
     There are some limitations of these tools that must be mentioned. The first is that both of the non-questionnaire tools are short. I have less confidence in the Myers-Briggs Sorter than I do the other, as the former as a long and much more version. The theories sorter is mildly concerning, as the book in which the sorter finds itself has other ways to find one's clinical orientation.
     I would like to more succinctly detail the reason for this study. I am testing the relationship between personality and theoretical orientation. I am not wanting subject to take only the Myers-Briggs test or the orientation sorter, as, independently, these tests mean nothing. Were I to just give out the Sorter, I would only be gather information on this population's theoretical preference (which are not necessarily generalizable). On the other hand, giving out the personality test would at least give some kind of viewpoint as to common personalities of budding and established therapists. Doing both hopefully will connect not just personality type to therapy (which has already been done), but rather personality type to a specific theory. This might aid in decreasing search time for budding counselors or at least some possible borders for research after mastering basic counseling techniques.
     As far as questionnaire questions are concerned, here are some:

  • Name
  • Credential/License information
  • Number of years in the field
  • Level of schooling achieved
  • Current theoretical orientation
  • Previous theoretical orientations
  • Is your current TO based in your current area of work?
  • Current area/type of work?
  • Do you ind TO important in your work?
  • Did you start out practicing  a certain method/theory and go on to change your desired theory (1), alter how you practiced the first method/theory (2), or add additional skills/techniques/theories to become more "eclectic" (3)?
  • Did your clinical educational program adopt a theoretical orientation that was then taught to all students? - or - Was your education more generalist, in that you were presented with multiple theories and then recommended to choose one?

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