Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in Mental Health and Psychotherapy Research

Michael Larkin*, Andrew R. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter


This chapter contains sections titled:

Description of the Method

Origins and Influences

Epistemological Assumptions

What Kind of Research Questions Suit IPA?

What Kind of Data is Appropriate for IPA?

How Can IPA Involve Service Users and People from the Research Population Under Study?

A Step‐by‐Step Approach to Using IPA

Quality Issues

How Might Studies Using This Method Relate to the Development of Mental Health Policy?

Future Directions

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy
Subtitle of host publication A Guide for Students and Practitioners
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780470663738
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2011


  • Idiography and hermeneutic phenomenology - key conceptual touchstones for IPA
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) - qualitative analysis, psychological interest
  • IPA studies, and knowledge - in mental health field
  • IPA, and verbatim transcript - first-person account
  • IPA, interpretative (aka hermeneutic) phenomenological epistemology
  • Methods, interpretative phenomenological analysis - in mental health and psychotherapy research
  • Reflection on one's own preconceptions - 'free' or 'open' coding
  • Samples in IPA, homogeneous - participants, understanding the topic at hand
  • Systemic or multi-perspectival designs - future development of IPA, mental health


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