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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Qualitative research approaches have gained wide acceptance in many social sciences. However, they struggle to gain acceptance and credibility in fields related to counseling and are little used in group-counseling research. This may have limited the development of group-counseling research as the strengths of qualitative research approaches have a unique synergy with the challenges and needs of group-counseling research. This chapter explores the fundamental characteristics of qualitative approaches, their strengths and limitations, and various types of qualitative research. It continues with a discussion of the challenges and needs of group-counseling research and how qualitative approaches may address these needs. The chapter also introduces the issue of quality in qualitative research and describes an atheoretical research-design process aimed at promoting congruent, effective qualitative designs. Finally, this chapter provides summaries and evaluations of several qualitative group-counseling studies, presents key themes from the chapter discussions, and proposes future directions for qualitative research applied to group counseling.

Keywords: qualitative research, group counseling, research methods, qualitative methods, research design

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