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\Clinical psychology aims to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological well-being by the systematic application of knowledge derived from psychological theory and data’ (British Psychological Society Division of Clinical Psychology, 2001). To this end clinical psychology has distinguished itself from other helping professions by an enduring reliance on its foundation of scientific research.

Within scientific research there is always a strong debate between those that prefer quantitative methods and those who prefer qualitative ones. proponents of quantitative methods have built the standards in experimental research and in researches performed on a large number of subjects and which use sampling criteria and statistical analysis techniques. On the other side, the qualitative method uses procedures of qualitative nature both at the level of collecting the data as well as the level of analyzing them (Tagliapietra, Trifan, Raineri &ump; Lis, 2009). The gathering data procedures include: interviews, group discussions, observations, journals; while the analysis procedures include coding, categorizations and systematic confrontation between the categories and their dimensions. Such research is often defined as an explorative one, opposite to “classical” scientific research aiming to confirm / disconfirm initial hypothesis. Among the qualitative methods used in the scientific research we can list: Focus Group, Speech Analysis, Conversation Analysis, Grounded Theory and Phenomenological Interpretative Analysis (Tagliapietra, Trifan, Raineri &ump; Lis, 2009).

This tension between an emphasis on a positivist science base and an emphasis on therapy and professional issues runs through many debates in clinical psychology also. Thus, on the one hand, clinical psychology has often seemed wedded to quantitative research methods drawing on an implicit naively realist epistemology and yet, on the other hand, many commentators note the similarities between the kinds of analysis undertaken in qualitative research and the judgements practitioners have to make in making sense of clinical material (Good and Watts, 1995).

According to Barker and Pistrang (2002) the main advantages of using qualitative methods in clinical context in comparison to the quantitative research are: i) they avoid the simplifications imposed by quantification, since some things cannot be easily expressed numerically. That is, they enable more complex aspects of experience to be studied and impose fewer restrictions on the data or the underlying theoretical models than quantitative approaches. ii) They allow the researcher to address research questions that do not easily lend themselves to quantification, such as the nature of individual experiences of a psychological condition (e.g., eating disorders) or event (e.g., being a victim of crime). iii) They enable the individual to be studied in depth and detail. iv) the raw data are usually vivid and easy to grasp: good qualitative research report makes the participants come alive for the reader. In general, the reports of qualitative studies are often more readable than those of quantitative studies v) Qualitative methods are good for hypothesis generation, and for exploratory, discovery-oriented research. They permit a more flexible approach, allowing the researcher to modify his or her protocol in mid-stream. The data collection is not constrained by pre-existing hypotheses. vi) qualitative self-report methods usually give more freedom to the participant than structured quantitative methods. For example, open-ended questions give interviewees a chance to respond in their own words and in their own way. vii) Since the data collection procedures are less constrained, the researchers may end up in the interesting position of finding things that they were not originally looking for or expecting (Barker and