Qualitative researchers more than often have a common intention to enrich their interpretations or critiques of symbols and subjective experiences or social structures through these methods. (Glaser and Strauss, 1967).
According to Guba and Lincoln (p. 106), there is an identified set of four conditions that are essential for a naturalistic inquiry when talking in terms of clinical psychology and it is these conditions which underline the criteria for trustworthiness between a psychological researcher and a patient. Now this goes without saying that trustworthiness is a critically important issue in psychological research and the criteria for assessing trustworthiness in naturalistic inquiry especially, profoundly relies on qualitative research. The primarily important condition among the rest relates to the methods applied in the research. These are the qualitative methods which heavily depend on human senses and these are considered the most appropriate and beneficent methods for carrying out investigation of multiple realities, worldwide. This is so because such methods are highly adaptable to mutually shaping influences and value patterns that gradually arise in the clinical research. This allows open discussion among the participants and the researcher allowing them to elaborate their understandings in addition to creating a setting that enables the researcher to appreciate and grasp the verbal responses of the participants. The whole point of qualitative methods generally is to gather information through loosely-structured interviews, critical analysis of the participants' responses as well as the scientific literature and transient observations.
Defining qualitative research, Cook and Reichardt (p. 7) stated: Qualitative research methods include ethnography, case study, in depth interviews, and participant observation. Ethnography is a qualitative research method that attempts to solidly describe a variety of aspects and norms of a cultural group to enhance understanding of the people being studied. Undeniably, effective communication between the psychological researcher and the participants is impossible without properly understanding their cultural backgrounds and qualitative research in the form of ethnography presents an incredible solution for this issue. Ethnographic research is a very broad field and is similar to other qualitative research methods because the researcher him/herself becomes part of the cultural scene and therefore, practically becomes an instrument of research. Another characteristic of ethnography is the cyclic nature of data collection and analysis. As one type of data provides new information, this information may stimulate the researcher to look at another type of data or to elicit confirmation of an interpretation from another person who is part of the culture being studied. This running cycle of collecting information hold utmost importance as a research tool in clinical psychology. (Byrne, 2001). A more elaborate explanation of the nature and purpose of qualitative research methods is given by Sofaer (1999). According to her, such research methods are valuable in providing fine descriptions of complex phenomena and unexpected events, illuminating the experience