1st Edition

A Practical Guide to Trauma-Sensitive Research Integrating Trauma-Informed Frameworks into the Qualitative Research Lifecycle

By Ayhan Alman Copyright 2025
    98 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    A Practical Guide to Trauma-Sensitive Research showcases the novel idea of trauma-informed interventions for researchers, proposing clinical supervision as the standard rather than the exception. This framework not only aids in managing the aftermath of trauma but also opens new opportunities for both clinicians and researchers.


    The book details the theoretical foundations of trauma, including the latest insights into how trauma affects individuals and communities, and addresses practical applications of trauma-sensitive methodologies in research. It emphasises ethical considerations, the importance of clinical supervision, and the necessity of adopting a trauma-sensitive approach to protect both research participants and researchers from the potential emotional toll of exposure to trauma. By bridging clinical practices with qualitative research, this book not only opens new professional avenues for clinicians and researchers but also advocates for a research environment that is empathetic, ethical, and informed by a deep understanding of trauma and its impacts.


    A Practical Guide to Trauma-Sensitive Research will be of great utility to User Experience (UX) Professionals, such as service designers, UX designers, consultants, and researchers involved in qualitative research. Additionally, it will be of value to clinical professionals like social workers, psychologists, and psychotherapists, offering insights and supervision on applying trauma-informed approaches in non-clinical research settings.

    Introduction to Trauma-Sensitive Research;  Part 1: Trauma Theory for UX Professionals  1. The Absence of Diversity & Difference in Trauma Theory  2. What is Trauma?  3. Traumatic Activation and Responses  4. Distinguish between Stress and Traumatic Stress  5. Forms and Effects of Dissociation  6. Secondary Traumatic Stress and Vicarious Trauma;  Part 2: Adopt a Trauma-Sensitive Approach  7. The Research Lifecycle  8. Commission Research  9. Write a Trauma-Sensitive Research Brief  10. Train and Prepare  11. Screen and Recruit of Participants  12. Create Guidance and Information Sheets  13. Do the Research and Collect Data  14. Analyse your Data  15. Report and Share your Findings;  Concluding Thoughts: Moving Beyond Research: Trauma-Sensitive Organisations


    Ayhan Alman is a researcher, also holding a full clinical membership with the UK Council for Psychotherapy and is accredited as an EMDR Europe Practitioner. He co-edited 'Queering Gestalt Therapy,' released by Routledge, hosts the DNA of AI podcast, and serves as a trustee of The Power Project for trauma-informed martial arts.

     ‘Ayhan's book showed me how to apply trauma-informed thinking beyond clinical settings, to user experience. It revealed new pathways and careers for using my skills. If you're seeking to expand your impact, this book could be your game-changer.' - Kasia Marzyńska, UKCP registered Psychotherapist & Supervisor, EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner

    ‘This is a brilliantly written and desperately needed book in the field of User Research. Too often user researchers are expected by their organisations to explore difficult and sensitive topics with participants and are left with little to no support should the participants experience trauma as a result. There is also no support for user researchers on how to manage the participants’ and their own distress. This book explores how to become trauma-informed through theory and practice in the form of case vignettes. It is written by a unique person who has expertise in both user research and psychotherapy and should be on the bookshelves of all user researchers, managers and anyone whose job involves being trauma-informed.' - Femma Ashraf, CEO of Astronomical AI and 5iveCubed, Host of DNA of AI Podcast

    ‘Ever thought about the emotional cost of researching trauma? I know I certainly have. As researchers, we need far more support when conducting research with participants who have experienced trauma. So that we can avoid re-traumatising participants and protect researchers from vicarious trauma and burnout. Ayhan has expertise in both user research and psychotherapy and is well-positioned to offer this much-needed guidance. He advocates for comprehensive training and robust supervision to equip researchers with the tools they need. This book is a must-read for anyone in the field.'- Ella Botting, User Researcher and Director, Cyber Women Services

    ‘Ayhan’s latest book is a real scholarly gem filled with practical tools enabling researchers to become skilful in conducting research in a safe, ethical, and trauma-sensitive manner.' - Gabriella Papp, UKCP registered Psychotherapist, Trauma Informed & EMDR