Ethical dilemmas for clinical psychologists in conducting qualitative research

Kate Russo, Andrew Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Clinical psychologists often use qualitative methods to explore sensitive topics with vulnerable individuals, yet there has been little discussion of the specific ethical issues involved. For clinicians conducting qualitative research, there are likely to be ethical dilemmas associated with being both a researcher and a practitioner. We argue that this overarching issue frames all other ethical issues raised. This article provides an overview of the range of ethical issues that have been discussed in general in relation to qualitative research and considers the specific nature of these in relation to the discipline of clinical psychology. Such issues will be exemplified by reference to some of our own research and practice and the extant literature. We conclude with some suggestions for good practice, although our aim is to trigger debate rather than to establish prescriptive guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2012


  • clinical psychology; confidentiality; consent; dual-role; ethics; qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethical dilemmas for clinical psychologists in conducting qualitative research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this