Experiences with Counselling for Individuals Within the South Asian Community II: Methodology, Stories and Analysis
by Alisha Mann, MPsy
This series was originally completed as a Major Research Project in partial fulfillment of Adler Graduate Professional School’s Master of Psychology degree.
The Process and Ethical Considerations
Upon receiving approval from the Ethics Committee at Adler Graduate Professional School, the researcher created posters and emailed them to organizations advocating for mental health services within the SA community. Posters were also posted in local temples. A general description of the study, as well as the poster, was posted as a notification on social media (such as Facebook), and contacts were asked to do the same.
All participants were provided information regarding the research and process prior to agreeing their participation in this study. Consent forms were provided, outlining the following:
- Participation was voluntary and could be withdrawn at any point, until final submission;
- All personal information would remain confidential;
- Interviews would be audio-recorded for transcription; and
- Participants could choose to stop recording, retract a statement, or go off the record at any point during the
Participants could also choose to receive a copy of their transcript. Participants were verbally informed that upon withdrawal of participation, all information pertaining to them would be permanently deleted, other than field notes and analyses written by the researcher.
This research involved speaking with participants about personal and cultural beliefs as well as values and experiences. Therefore the risk for heightened emotional responses following the interview was outlined. A contingency plan was in place, providing phone numbers to a local help line and brochures for free services in the participants’ geographical areas, if required.
Two of the interviews were conducted in person at a predesignated location, while one was conducted via a secure Google Document and phone call. Allotments of 15 minutes prior to the interview to review and sign consent forms, as well as 15 minutes following the interview to provide contingency information and answer any remaining questions, were in place. However, none of the participants utilized the full time, and interviews lasted between 50 and 90 minutes. Upon completion of the interviews, the researcher wrote individual field notes and transcribed the interviews.
As a means of keeping identities confidential, all participants were asked to choose pseudonyms to represent themselves throughout the research. The researcher, in turn, was highly selective in disclosing locations and any personal details throughout the writing process.
To ensure safety, everything was encrypted using the TrueCrypt encryption program. All files were password protected and saved in various locations.