Object elicitation: A compassionate and culturally informed method for psychotherapy research

Divine Charura, Charlotte O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study provides an innovative, compassionate and culturally informed method for psychotherapy research, using object elicitation with 13 participants from vulnerable groups. It examines the positive impact it has on building the research alliance, enhanced depth of sharing within qualitative research interviews and emic ways of knowing through the engagement with a culturally relevant, tangible, internalised or transitional object brought by vulnerable participants from diverse cultural contexts of origin. Results showcase how a creative and compassionate research method can promote a culturally informed research alliance with vulnerable participants, helping to build trust, rapport and relational depth; encourage elicitation of experiences; and empower emic and subjugated voices. The implications of this study make the case for the inclusion of object elicitation as a creative and compassionate method in qualitative research with traumatised and vulnerable individuals, which should be used as part of a culturally informed approach to psychotherapy research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-50
Number of pages11
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research: Linking research with practice
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2024


  • social justice
  • counselling psychology
  • Trauma
  • trauma theory
  • culturally informed
  • refugees
  • asylum seekers

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Healthier Futures


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