Preliminary Questions for Action Research Plan (Personal Research Project for Research Methods Class)

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Preliminary Questions: Gathering and Analyzing the Data
Ask yourself the following questions to help you systematically define your problem:

Adopted from Kapitan, L. (2016). Practitioner-centered inquiry: Critical, participatory, & anti-oppressive. Manuscript in process.

  • What is happening already?
  • What do I think is going on?
  • What are the larger context (personal, institutional, cultural, historical, socio-political) surrounding the situation and how might they be influencing the situation?
  • How do I perceive this situation? (Can involve key others – this is where your reflecting team comes into your process!)
  • What is the rationale for these perceptions? What other possibilities are there? (Another area your reflecting team will help you explore.)
  • Who is being affected by the situation?
  • What would I (and they) like to see changed, and why?
  • What results do they (and we) wish to achieve?


Over the last two quarters in graduate school at Southwestern College, I have been exploring ways to be more present. Obviously, since I’m not seeing clients yet; the only way for me to measure this is in the classroom setting. Of course, I have been witnessing myself in other settings in everyday life and how I “show up.” Most of the work has been around inner/outer boundaries and consistent active listening. As an artist, some of my creative processes have me asking myself, if there is something in my creative process that is working, that can also be used to increase my sense of presence?

Since I got my new DSLR in December – Canon 6D MK II, I have had a fire to continue to keep shooting more than ever. In February, I did a few mini projects around Roses in February – here is a blog post on Roses looking in the mirror. I have dropped a few more from that Roses series here…


Then, when March came around and Spring changed the trees – I wanted to document early trees and their growth from a sprout, to a bloom, to a full tree. (Here is the earliest sprout – and then another post of the same blooms.) It has been fascinating and now even when I don’t have my camera, I still look at trees to see how each one grows at their own pace. I have a “different eye” both when I’m shooting these sprouts and also when I am looking at trees as we cross paths. It dawned on me that I have a meditative presence with all of these trees. So there should be some similar steps I can do that can be implemented for class. (And potentially with future clients)

A few considerations is that “the presence” I have in class surrounded by a roux of people is not the same as sitting in the intimate space with a client. In fact, I am looking forward to using my INFJ skills (That’s the MBTI type for Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Judging). I am usually more focused and much more engaged when I am with 1-2 people. However, I’m sure there is still room for me to improve my sense of presence.

I’m not sure how to answer the questions on other contexts – I want to explore how Eco settings can help a therapist be more present. I’m sure just about anybody can benefit from this activity. This can affect other counselors/therapists as well as any future clients. The result I’m looking for is for me as a professional to feel like I’m more present.

Please – drop me a comment below on your thoughts!



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