Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
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IACP Research Strategy 2021 - 2025 [27/08/21]

The IACP launches its Research Strategy 2021 - 2025

Dear Member, 

I am delighted to inform you of the soft launch of our Research Committee Strategic Plan for 2021-2025, a sub-set of the overall IACP Strategic Plan. We, the Research Committee (RC), compiled the plan by drawing on a range of sources, including; member feedback, a review of the literature on therapist engagement with research, the direction of our profession, the need for credible evidence-informed practice, input from course providers and the passion for research of the members of the RC committee. Nearly eight months of effort have resulted in a plan we hope provides a robust and exciting suite of prospects for your professional development and research confidence and to the broader community of therapy professionals and clients.

Before introducing the eight strategic objectives, however, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to former committee members Mary Creaner, Freda Cunningham and Paula Seth for their enormous contributions to the planning process. I would also like to express my profound gratitude to Ellen Kelly, Mou Sultana, Cóilín Ó Braonáin, and Iwona Blasi for their contributions as longstanding committee members and to welcome Kathy Keane and Aisling O'Connor as our newest members.

As a profession, we are called to understand our clients' mental health needs, determine the factors contributing to their suffering, and identify appropriate ways to help restore a sense of well-being. In the past, we often relied on authority to know how to bring about change. Today, we rely more and more on what empiricism tells us about what actually, demonstrably and repeatedly works to effect positive and sustainable change in our client's lives. Subsequently, our committee focuses on equipping members with a range of resources on and about research to make lasting contributions to our client's lives, our professional development and our profession as a whole.

With this in mind, we offer the following eight strategic goals:

Goal 1: Advise on research issues and policies relating to research in counselling/psychotherapy and the mental health field.
Goal 2: Identify and address research challenges that members encounter.
Goal 3: Synthesise knowledge and disseminate research findings to encourage public debate, member practice and education about counselling and psychotherapy.
Goal 4: Develop new and existing resources relating to IACP research strategy, policy and the code of ethics.
Goal 5: Create and cultivate research networks nationally and internationally and form links with other relevant committees.
Goal 6: Advise on the standard of research education for accredited courses and encourage greater emphasis on research in training and training in research.
Goal 7: Encourage and embed a research culture within IACP and the profession.
Goal 8: Develop a specific research agenda.
Beneath each of the above goals are tactics and actionable projects. Our committee will manage progress and report to you via the overall IACP Annual Report cycle. We also intend to make many resources and materials as outputs of these goals available on the IACP Website, the first of which will be several short research-oriented training videos for your use.

If you would like further information on our plan, if you would like to get involved in our work, or join the committee, please don't hesitate to get in touch by email:

Please follow this link for more information and to access the high-level summary of our strategic goals.

Is mise le meas,
Mike Hackett MIACP
Chair, IACP Research Committee.


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