Using the Ward Method as a structure for team-based analysis of complex case data

Kate Smith, Mhairi Thurston, Philemon Eva, Julia McLeod

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    Aim: The aim of this study was to refine and further develop the Ward Method, a novel and innovative structure for group-decision-making by creative consensus.
    Method: The application of this methodology in psychotherapy case study research is illustrated by analysis of transcript and other data from a case of brief pluralistic psychotherapy for a client experiencing sight loss.
    Results: Ward analysis resulted in a group consensus on the outcome of the case, the therapeutic tasks undertaken by the client and counsellor, and other factors that contributed to outcome. Reflective accounts collected from members of the research team, on their experience of the Ward Method, are used to synthesise recommendations for the application of Ward methodology in further research.
    Discussion: Validity and plausibility in psychotherapy case-study research is enhanced by the collection of rich case data, and the use of a group of researchers during data analysis. In practice, however, it can be difficult to organise the work of a case study research team in a manner that reflects effective use of time, while also ensuring a sufficient level of detailed analysis of case material. It can also be problematic to achieve authentic dialogue and consensus in a situation where there may be an imbalance in the power or perceived validity of the voices of different team members. This study illustrates the utility of the Ward Method in complex case-study analysis, in addressing these issues by maintaining a collaborative space and equality of voice during a structured, time-limited research process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2014
    Event45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research: Facilitating Change: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future - Copenhagen, Denmark
    Duration: 25 Jun 201428 Jun 2014
    Conference number: 45


    Conference45th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychotherapy Research


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