Using Multivariate Concept-Mapping for Examining Client Understandings of Counselling


  • Robinder P Bedi University of Victoria
  • David A Alexander University of British Columbia


research methods, concept-mapping, client's perspective


Counsellors rely on sound research to inform their practice. However, many methods in counselling research that seek to categorize clients’ experiences (including the Critical Incident Technique) inadvertently examine the client’s perspective through the lens of investigator-derived or counsellor-derived constructs and categories – thereby blurring counsellor and client perspectives. Multivariate concept-mapping (MVCM) is a mixed methods research design that ensures the client’s perspective is a more fitting representation of the client’s subjective experience of counselling processes. This article introduces MVCM as an analytical method for understanding the clients’ perspective on counselling and provides a guide for conducting MVCM research on counselling processes. It is hoped that this article will result in greater awareness of this research method amongst counsellor educators and counselling researchers in Canada, resulting in a better understanding of the client’s experiences of counselling processes, which should inevitably benefit counselling practitioners. In the meantime, this article can serve as an impetus for counsellors to carefully scrutinize the categorization-based research on the client’s perspective that they use to inform their practice.

Author Biographies

Robinder P Bedi, University of Victoria

Rp>Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, Faculty of Education

Assistant Professor 

David A Alexander, University of British Columbia

David A. Alexander, B.Sc. graduated from the University of Victoria in 1992 with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. After taking several courses to "test the waters" and having a very favourable experience, he is currently completing his master’s degree in counselling psychology at the University of British Columbia.



How to Cite

Bedi, R. P., & Alexander, D. A. (2010). Using Multivariate Concept-Mapping for Examining Client Understandings of Counselling. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 43(2). Retrieved from



Front matter/ Matière avant