This article examines several qualitative methods to capture and analyze processes in therapeutic and clinical interventions. The study of therapeutic processes provides an understanding of what leads to changes in clinical interventions. This is a goal of any therapeutic intervention. This interest should allow us to try to identify what the therapists do and think they are doing, how they do it, how they think about their interventions, and what happens during the session that might explain changes. These types of studies require that researchers provide clarifications about their epistemological and methodological choices. To meet that requirement, we propose to review a range of issues, methodologies, and tools – which come from qualitative research - that guide us in conducting research in the psychotherapeutic and clinical field. The aim of our article is to put forward a methodological framework for researchers to better explore the patient’s or the therapist’s lived-experience and better reveal, moment-to-moment, the clinical practice.


qualitative methods, therapeutic processes, lived-experience, clinical intervention, methodological approach

Author Bio(s)

Jennifer Denis is an associate professor at the University of Mons (Belgium) in the clinical psychology department. She is also a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, specializing in psycho-traumatology. She has worked during several years in psychiatric emergencies room and crisis unit. Currently, she is a private practice therapist and a research and teaching associate at the University of Mons (Belgium) where she completed a Ph.D. in 2016. Her research focuses on therapeutic processes in clinical interventions. She is describing experts’ lived experiences to better understand how they adjust their therapeutic and clinical interventions. The cognitive, emotional, nonverbal, and procedural criteria are evaluated to better capture how interventions work. The chosen methodologies are especially based on qualitative methods. Please direct correspondence to jennifer.denis@umons.ac.be.

Marc Tocquet is a French clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and psycho-organic analyst. He is also a Ph.D. student at the University of Mons (Belgium).

Francois Guillemette is a Full Professor in Education Sciences at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres (Canada).

Stephan Hendrick is a retired Professor in clinical Psychology at the University of Mons. Clinical psychologist and Psychotherapist.

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