2nd Edition

Making Research Relevant Applied Research Designs for the Mental Health Practitioner

Edited By Kelly L. Wester, Carrie A. Wachter Morris Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Making Research Relevant is the ideal core textbook for master’s-level introduction to research methods courses in any mental health field.

    Accessible and user friendly, it is designed to help trainees and practitioners understand, connect, and apply research to clinical practice and day-to-day work with students and clients. The text covers foundational concepts, such as research ethics, the consumption of research, and how to analyze data, as well as an additional 11 applied, evaluative, and outcome-based research methods that can be applied in clinical practice.

    Easy to read, conversational chapters are infused with case examples from diverse settings, paired with brief video lectures (available on the Routledge website), as well as practice-based applications that will walk students and practitioners through their own client or case scenario. Readers will come away from the book with a variety of tools for applying research methods in ways that can benefit mental health practitioners in real-world scenarios.


    Carrie A. Wachter Morris, Kelly L Wester, Shreya Vaishnav, Jordan L. Austin  

    2. Understanding Existing Literature

    Amanda Giordano, Deborah Smith 

    3. Research Ethics in Practice

    Shreya Vaishnav, Jordan L. Austin, Kelly L. Wester, Carrie A. Wachter Morris 

    4. Evaluating and Designing Surveys

    W. Bradley McKibben

    5. Quantitative Data Analysis and Interpretation

    W. Bradley McKibben, Arianna V. Alvero

    6. Case Study

    Holly Downs

    7.Using Single-Case Research Designs to Evaluate Outcomes

    A. Stephen Lenz

    8.Using Correlational and Causal-Comparative Designs in Practice: Exploring Relations Among Client Variables

    Lindsey K Umstead, Heather Delgado

    9. Quasi-Experimental Methods

    Casey A. Barrio Minton

    10. Randomized Controlled Trials

    Dee C. Ray

    11. Content Analysis

    Edward Wahesh

    12. Phenomenological Methodology: Merging Research and Practice

    Maribeth F. Jorgensen, Kathleen Brown-Rice


    Heather Trepal, Yuliya Cannon

    14. Mixed-Methods Research

    Ye He

    15. Bringing It All Together: Effective Program Evaluation

    Michael Walsh, Amy Allison


    Kelly L. Wester, PhD, is a professor of counselor education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught graduate courses in research and provided worksh ops on research methodology.

    Carrie A. Wachter Morris, PhD, is a professor of counselor education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and past president of the Association of Assessment and Research in Counseling.


    Making Research Relevant is true to its name. Wester and Wachter Morris have developed a textbook that contextualizes research within counseling practices. This is the exact textbook I needed for my research courses, and using it has transformed students’ experiences: they better grasp research concepts and methods, take more ownership of their researcher identity, and feel inspired to integrate data gathering into their clinical work. What an essential resource for counseling students and practitioners, especially with the need to increasingly measure impact and conduct outcome-based research.”

    Maribeth F. Jorgensen, PhD, LPC (TX/SD), LMHC (WA), LIMHP (NE), NCC, associate professor, Department of Counselor Education, Sam Houston State University

    “Reading this textbook felt like having conversations with the authors. The content is so accessible. Through the use of case examples, the authors demystify research methods by applying them to relevant counseling scenarios. I turned every page with a sense of connection as I was invited to consider my own identity as a researcher, the larger picture of our work with clients, and how research paves the way for greater efficacy and new possibilities.”

    Christina Jelinek, master’s counseling student

    “I never considered assuming a researcher identity before reading Making Research Relevant. I now see research as an integral part of becoming an effective counselor. I appreciated how the authors included case examples as that brought the material to life. Reading this book as a counseling student has inspired me to collect data from my future clients to ensure they are receiving effective counseling.”

    Brooke Angonia, master’s counseling student

    Making Research Relevant is a practical guide for counselors in training to learn how to apply research methods to their future work, whether on a small scale like checking in-session effectiveness or on a large scale like a program evaluation. This book helped me to grow more confident in my counselor-researcher identity by showing me how research is intertwined with my responsibilities as a practitioner. Its straightforward nature and use of light humor kept me engaged from beginning to end. This book is a tool I plan to use during the remainder of my training and when I'm in the field.”

    Sydnee Jaynes, master's counseling student

    Making Research Relevant makes research accessible to students and practitioners. With these skills, counselors can evaluate their own effectiveness and collect evidence to inform their own practice. More importantly, the authors have considered the tools and resources counselors in the field will have access to so they can continue to use research to practice. Teaching with this text has brought students’ practice to life so that they not only validate the client’s experience but validate their development as counselors.”

    Jennifer D. Deaton, PhD, LCMHC, assistant professor, University of North Carolina at Greensboro