Qualitative researchers are continually searching for research methods that engage their participants in the data collection process. When researching living, dynamic systems such as families, researchers need to find methods that can encapsulate the multi-dimensionality of the human experience. The purpose of this paper is to acquaint researchers with some creative and active methods they can use to not only involve their participants in the research process, but also to more fully learn about and experience the perceptions, feelings, and life events of their participants. The methods discussed include sculpting, photography and videography, art and drawing, role playing, writing exercises, metaphors, and timelines.


qualitative research


The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge the editorial comments and participation of Dr. Fred Piercy in the revision of this paper and development of the research methods discussed in it.

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