Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Signs of Progress; Catching up

Entry for 31 March 2007:

The spring equinox has passed, and April is upon us, along with the Paschal Full Moon, just a few days away. (The Easter Moon is the first full moon on or after 21 March, which is treated by the church as the first day of spring; Easter is the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.) Spring has come to Glasgow; many flowers are in bloom, the daffodils are just past their peak. Diane returned from California this past Tuesday, and Mikio Shimizu and his son Hocuto came from Japan the same day. Here are some of the things that have been going on since my last entry, 10 days ago:

The three diploma courses have completed their terms for now, and are on a 4 week break, leaving things somewhat quieter in the Counselling Unit, at least for the time. To fill up the vacuum, the Staff Base and office are switching places, providing Tracey with an office in the process. This has caused a certain amount of chaos, not to mention dust, and computer equipment has been piling up in the Research Base next to my office.

I went to the British Psychological Society meeting in York, where I gave a paper on my generic framework of qualitative research activities as part of a panel put on by the new qualitative research division of the BPS. The best part of this was hanging out with David Rennie and talking to him about philosophy of science and especially his emerging philosophical system for qualitative research.

The EFT-2 training workshop met on Wednesday for a session on Motivational Interviewing and Self-harm splits (risky behavior splits would probably be a better name for them, since self-cutting and suicidal behavior are excluded). This was a very interesting session focusing on EFT approaches to substance abuse related behaviors that involved doing things that one knows are potentially harmful or dangerous. Every time I do this workshop, I come away thinking that the topic deserves much more attention, since it presents fairly different issues than depressive self-criticism splits, for example.

This past Thursday, a lot of students turned up for the MSc course meeting, more than we’ve had in several months. It took all evening just to go around and provide research consultation for all of them! We got good feedback for the more structured format that we have been moving toward, and a request for even more feedback, in the form of announced topics.

This was followed by another great meal at the Sisters Restaurant, a welcome dinner for Mikio and his son.

This is so much happening; it’s difficult to keep up with it all: The Social Anxiety Study Group is making good progress with the analyses of the qualitative descriptions provided by group members, and also with the research protocol for the study. I hope to provide more information on this in the coming days.

The Counselling Psychology doctorate course being created in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University is also on track for its September initiation, if Ewan Gillan, who has been doing most of the work on it, can keep from melting down.

ScotCon, and Scottish SPR are also progressing nicely, with plans for its September kick-off also coming along.

In short, progress on many fronts, so much happen that it has been difficult to find time to write about it. During the next week, I plan to write the ethics proposal the Social Anxiety and Research Clinic protocols and to work on my applications for Chartering in the British Psychological Society. I also hope to catch up on some of my writing obligations…. We will have to see!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Approaching the Spring Equinox: A Dream

Dream on 20 March 2007; entry completed 21 March 2007:

The premise of the dream is a bit surreal: There are a series of shops which are at the same time books, and that have been built/written along the road, one after another, every mile or so. The first is The Talk Book, then there is The Talk Doctor, and maybe one more. Then I come to the latest, still under construction/being written, named The Talkshop or something, that is to say the next store/book in the series. I enter what is obviously a construction scene. “Jerry?” I say loudly, concerned that I am intruding, but nevertheless determined to make contact with my old grad school advisor, Jerry Goodman. I haven’t seen him in years, but it seems important to talk to him now, even though he is probably in the middle of something.

There are tarps everywhere, and dust. I am directed upstairs. I go up to the first floor. I come upon him, and say hello, but he seems distracted. He hears a noise from the next room, and goes to check on the person in the next room, which I somehow know is his father. He returns after a couple of minutes, looking very sad, and says that his father has just died. I listen to him, using the Person-Centred listening skills that he taught me and that his books are about. As I do so, I feel very sad also, about his loss, which also seems like mine.

Emotion Scheme Analysis:
-Emotion scheme nucleus (felt emotion):
-Perceptual-memory elements (also: intentionality; associations):
-Perceptions: I notice the construction mess, clutter, dust
-Current life situation: Approaching anniversary of my dad’s death. I have had the feeling over the past couple of weeks that more of his approach to help-skill training (close examination of helper response modes) is needed in the Diploma courses at Strathclyde.
-References/associations: Jerry Goodman wrote The Talk Book and is sometimes referred to in the media as “The Talk Doctor”. I always felt I was intruding on him when I went to see him in grad school.
-Bodily/expressive elements:
-Likely facial expression: Sad face
-Bodily sensations: Heavy, weighed down
-Cognitive/symbolic elements (e.g., metaphors, propositions, identities)
-Propositions: “My father has died”
-Metaphor: Books Are Buildings (“constructing a narrative”)
-Action tendency/wish (also lessons, directions for action):
-Action tendency: Listening/empathizing
-Wish/Fear: Wanting to connect with an important person; fear they won’t have time/interest.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Entry for 20 March 2007:

On this night, at the spring equinox last year, my dad died.

I had come back from a psychosomatic psychotherapy conference in Magdeburg, Germany, to the Groot Begijnhof, where I was staying in Leuven, Belgium, to learn that my dad was going downhill rapidly and that I should fly directly to California instead of going first to Ohio. Jettisoning my scheduled flight and making a rather unconventional booking on a different airline, I travelled for 24 hours: Brussels – Newark – San Francisco – BART – Pleasanton – Lodi – San Andreas, finally arriving in Murray Creek late on Sunday night. My dad was weak but had waited for me before really beginning to let go. As I have written elsewhere, my mom and all 6 of his kids gathered there to wait for him to complete his passage, through the next day, and then the long vigil on Tuesday night, until he reached his final breath in the early hours of the 21st of March, and breathed no more. It was an intense, painful process, like a birth. (see: and .)

The days that followed his death were intense and difficult also, as we planned his memorial service and helped clean out his things and organize the place for what turned out to be an entire year of transition. Too alcohol was consumed, especially chocolate liqueur, and some unkind things were said. But it felt wonderful to take the time out from my work to just do what needed to be done.

And so our journey through a rocky time of turning began, in and out of sadness, finding joy where we came to it: graduations, weddings, conferences; retirement, partings, moves; new beginnings, greetings, initiations. We have each of us travelled far in the past year, since the last spring equinox, going in an out of light and darkness. Our mom has been on a kind of hegira, between the houses of her different children. Therese, a friend of my parents, moved into the lower house, where my parents had been living. Anna’s husband Jim has been enormously helpful in organizing the reconstruction of the upper house at Murray Creek (part of which had been pulled off its foundations when a huge, ancient oak came down in a freak snowstorm 3 weeks before my dad’s death).

In the meantime, my mom took on my dad’s mantle as a shaman and has been in daily conversation with him, as she searched for what was next for her. As I have recounted, my mom’s pilgrimage finally took her here to Scotland and her mission to Scottish Borders. I’m not sure, but that adventure seems to have brought something to completion in our process of mourning. Now she is back in Murray Creek, marking the end of winter and a year’s journey and mourning for us. We have gone through a year of days, marking each one as a day without his physically present, or at least always available at the other end of a telephone call. There have been many tears, even yesterday, as I approached this night. I think it has been a good process, in the end.

In the Jewish tradition, it is customary to say Kaddish for a period of time after the death of a loved one, and at the anniversary of that person’s death. Tonight, I say Kaddish for my dad:
…May there be much peace from Heaven,
and good life
and satisfaction, and salvation, and comfort, and saving
and healing and redemption and forgiveness and atonement
and relief and deliverance
for us and for all His people Israel; and say, Amen
He who makes peace in His heights
may He in his mercy make peace upon us
and upon all his nation Israel; and say, Amen.
(version from the Wikipedia entry “Kaddish”)

Toward Evidence-Based Training: Draft Protocol for Research on the Effects of Counselling Training

Entry for 19 March 2007:

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past month working on a research protocol for evaluating counselling training. Julie Folkes-Skinner, a PhD student from the University of Leicester, and I are preparing to do a study of the effects of our Person-Centred Counselling Diploma here. Today the teaching staff of the three diploma courses here agreed in principle that it would be OK to go ahead with some version of this research. Here is an outline of what we are discussing doing:

It’s a mixed method study, with the following research questions:
(1) What are the effects of counselling training on trainees, specially: (a) trainee therapeutic involvement and experienced professional growth; and (b) trainee level of experienced flexible, congruent functioning.
(2) How do trainees experience their training, specifically: (a) what changes do they experience over the course of training?; (b) what do they find helpful in their training?; and (c) what do they find unhelpful in their training?
(3) Can the effects of training be detected in trainees’ clients’ experiences of counselling, including therapeutic alliance, client outcomes and counselling-related changes, and helpful and hindering aspects of their counselling.
There are three nested study components:
A. A large (n=25) quantitative study of the effects of the training on student professional and psychological functioning.
B. A smaller (n=8) qualitative study of a group of counselling unit students’ experiences of the training, done at the end of the years’ training on the fulltime course (and possibly also after years 1 and 2 on the parttime course)
C. A pair of intensive case studies in which student trainees are repeatedly qualitatively interviewed throughout the year (before seeing clients, at the end of the first, second and third terms, while the process and outcome of their work with two of their clients is tracked qualitatively and quantitatively in the Research Clinic.
Trainee Instruments: The instruments proposed for use by the trainees include:
1. The new Trainee version of the Common Core Questionnaire (CCQ) being developed by Soti Grafanaki and me, based on previous research by David Orlinsky and the Collaborative Research Network of SPR. This instrument measures trainee theoretical orientation, perceived progress, therapeutic skill, interpersonal manner, in-session mood, sources of learning, therapeutic difficulties and coping strategies, and personal functioning. Among other things, these subscales measure quality of therapist involvement (Healing Involvement vs. Stressful Involvement), quality of experienced professional development (Progress vs. Stagnation). (Used in all 3 study components.)
2. The Strathclyde Inventory, a quantitative self-report measure of person-centred functioning, following Carl Rogers’ theory, developed by Beth Freire (with some help from Mick Cooper and me). (Used in all 3 study components.)
3. Training version of the Change Interview, developed by Julie Folkes-Skinner and me, a qualitative interview asking trainees about their experiences of the training course, including changes so far, ratings of those changes, and helpful and unhelpful factors in the training. (Used in study components B & C.)
Client Instruments. In addition, trainees in study component C (the intensive case studies) would also track the therapy experiences of at least two of their clients seen in the new research clinic, in order to assess their clients' experience of the therapeutic alliance (Working Alliance Inventory), the outcome of the counselling (CORE Outcome Measure), and experiences of therapy (Client Change Interview).

Possible Supervisor instrument. Finally, Soti and I are also working on a Supervisor version of the CRN Common Core Questionnaire, which we hope to use for one or more of these components. At this point, the instrument needs to be pilot tested, and further discussions are needed with supervisors, because I suspect that this element is going to be a harder sell than the other things.

Comments, suggestions and reactions are invited on this project!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our Lady of Glasgow

Entry for 18 March 2007:

Today is Mothering Sunday, the UK equivalent of Mother’s Day. I had forgotten about this from when we lived here before, and of course it’s two months’ ahead of American Mother’s Day. I used to scoff at Mother’s Day as some sort of plot by the greeting card industry and other commercial interests to increase business. However, about 15 years’ ago, my dad took me aside and asked me to please, please phone my mom on Mothers’ Day, because although she would never say anything about it, it kind of made her a little depressed if her kids didn’t ring up to wish her a happy Mothers’ Day. Well, if my mom believes in Mother’s Day, then, for her sake, I decided, so would I.

So today when I got to church, I discovered that it was Mothering Sunday. This was nice for two reasons: (a) It seems to have been broadened to include all kinds of people who are in a mothering role, which makes it feel more egalitarian, and means that I might possibly qualify also. (b) Kelvin, our priest, decided to move the Feast of the Annunciation up by a week and combine it with Mothering Sunday, making it a triple header, since the Feast of Annunciation is our church’s patron or feast day, i.e., the special day of the person or being to whom the church is dedicated, in this case St. Mary.

One of the things that drew me to St. Mary’s was its potential connection to the feminine manifestation of God, with which I have connected with strongly since early childhood. However, I had looked in vain there for a some kind of central representation of the Goddess, such as can be found in Antwerp Cathedral, with its depiction of the Assumption of Mary into heaven, and most strikingly the round painting in the ceiling over the altar, depicting Mary ruling in heaven. I had looked in vain for such a sign of Marian theology at St. Mary’s.

It turns out that this was yet another instance of my looking at things without seeing them, like the cairns of Kilmartin last month. As Kelvin literally pointed out in his sermon today, there is a fresco of the Annunciation over the high altar, painted by Gwyneth Leech. What is so charming about this mural is that it depicts the angel appearing to Mary in a typical Glasgow tenement flat (top floor, West End, I’d say). She is sitting on what appears to be a kind of wicker chair (perhaps from IKEA?), facing the angel, who is in the next panel. There is a coffee pot and mug on a little table in front of her, while out the window the spire of her church can be can to be under construction. The painting has a kind of swirly quality, symbolizing that an ecstatic experience is taking place. She is indeed Our Lady of Glasgow!

(Photograph courtesy of St. Mary's Scottish Episcopal Cathedral, Glasgow.)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Scenes in the West End

Entry for 17 March 2007:

The day started out nice, with signs of spring. As I reached the canal, I noticed that the daffodils were out. They are still working on the canal at the Maryhill locks, so I was forced to make a wide detour before rejoining it just before it crosses Maryhill Road. There were more runners out than usual. As I continued past the junction, on the portion that leads to Spiers Wharf, I passed various canal boats dredging the muck out of the canal (spring canal cleaning?). Then, passing Partick Thistle Stadium, I heard, faintly on the wind, the sound of a drum and fife band practicing “The Star of County Down”. I turned around just before getting to Spiers Wharf, but on a whim decided to try to find the church I had seen last week on the top of the hill. I did find it, but got mixed up on the other side of the hill and ended up running down the River Kelvin from near Queen Margaret Drive, instead of up it, and finally came up on the far side of Kelvinbridge. This made for an interesting but long run, back along Great Western, dodging people out on a nice Saturday morning. As I returned, I saw more flowers out in Hyndland. I carelessly told myself that spring was finally here.

In the afternoon the rain came in. Now the wind is howling and I am waiting for the snow. So much for spring! That’s March in Scotland… Diane is in California, where it’s around 70F and sunny. It least it’s good weather for working here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Day-long Two Chair Work Workshop in Three Acts

Entry for 16 March 2007:

One of the things I had to come back from UK-SPR Ravenscar was to do a day-long workshop on Two Chair Work for the Fulltime Diploma course. This was not really my idea, but after seeing a bit of me doing Two Chair Work with my client with bridge phobia/panic difficulties, the students requested more input from me. (It certainly is nice to be asked…) The original slating was for a “master class”, but I found this designation too imposing, so it became a workshop on Two Chair Work. However, because it was a full day (i.e., 4.5 hours plus breaks) slot, it ended up twice as long as what I normally do on Two Chair Work. The workshop unfolded in Three Acts:

Act 1. I was somewhat nervous about the this extended format, and was a bit disorganized to begin with, but it turned out to work pretty well. Rather than do my usual lecture on Gestalt theory, I began and doing a short lecture on the 6 therapy principles: Empathic Attunement, Therapeutic Bond, Task Collaboration, Experiential Processing, Task Completion/Focus, Client Self-development. This provided a useful review, highlighting both similarities and differences from the classic person-centred therapy.

Then we plunged right into a live demonstration of Two Chair Work, with Lorna volunteering a live conflict split of hers. She was a great client, and the work went in directions both unexpected and “classic,” including Collapsed Experiencer and Softening Critic. (Actually there was a double softening, with the Angry Experiencer also moving into compassion in response to the Critic softening into fear.) There was even a bit of inserted Empty Chair at the end, here to support and help consolidate the emergent self-assertive Experiencer. A really nice example of the process! This got us off to a great start. I always talk about the value of sometimes just plunging in without a lot of explanation, but I rarely do it, and this time is worked well.

Act 2. After a break, we did another short lecture, introducing the task marker and task model and Task Resolution Scale. This benefited significantly from having been preceded by the live demonstration, so that the students could easily imagine (by remembering) the main concepts. I instructed them just to practice setting up the task and working with the process for a bit. Then I took half of the students over to my research space, while Lorna stayed with other half in the Wood Building. We divided them up into three groups of 3-4 students each, and they practiced with each other for about 45 minutes, with most groups getting through 2 pairs. After that, we regrouped in the main classroom to process the morning’s work.

Act 3. Post lunch, we answered some questions and did another short lecture about practical aspects of the introducing and carrying out Two Chair Work. More practice, for another hour, with Lorna and I switching groups. Toward the end of this, the groups I was working with began running out material/energy/safety, in that everyone had tried the task in both client and therapist roles. I supported a couple of people in their decision to stop working when they began to get in over their head emotionally. (Les likes to use slightly larger groups of 4-5 people for the practice, which I think is a good idea, not less than 4 anyway.)

In processing the day’s training, the predominant theme was the students’ experience of Two Chair Work as “fast”. This surprised me: I’m aware of it being intense and deep, but I guess I’ve gotten used to the pace from using the task so long that I don’t notice the pacing issue much. In fact, I’ve used it with enough stuck, depressed clients with intractable splits, that my overall impression is often how slow it often seems to go. But the students were comparing the work to the usual pace of person-centred empathic exploration. Also, they have generally developed good empathic skills and were mostly pretty open and trusting of each other. This provided an excellent foundation for the training, making it possible for it to move much faster than normal.

The workshop appears to have generated a wave of interest in PE-EFT among the students, both for more training (I did a plug for the summer Level 1 training) and in several cases for therapy referrals for more of this kind of therapy.

Sandy asked an interesting question: How much practice with this task is needed before you can start using it with real clients. Of course there's no clear answer to questions like this, but I did note at a minimum that one should have tried it in both therapist and client roles and should feel safe and relatively comfortable trying it. This raises the whole issue of training standards for individiual tasks, not something that I've really thought much about.

Afterwards, I ran in Dot and Pat in the staff base. “We’ve just done a day on Two Chair Work,” I blurted. Dot said, with arched eyebrows, “Oh, are we teaching that in the diploma course now?” To which I replied by reminding her that Beth had done a full-day on nondirectivity only a few days earlier. Dot laughed and smiled: “Fair enough!” she remarked.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Report on UK-SPR/Ravenscar 2007

Entry for 13 March 2007:

Journey. This year’s UK-SPR meeting in Ravenscar, North Yorkshire, was my third (see previous blog entry). We left Sunday morning from Glasgow by train, catching the 9:30 train out of Queen Street, after we determined that another rail strike was not likely to happen before next weekend. I had finished one of my presentations, my main one, but I found that I needed an expanded version for the workshop that was to follow the main presentation. I was travelled first to Edinburgh and then to York, I created an elaborated presentation on the Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED) validity threats, copying and revising material from my old Word OHP slides into a Powerpoint presentation. (In the event, I didn’t actually give the longer presentation, but it turned out to be very useful to have the elaborated material to draw on in response to questions from the workshop audience.)

We met Thomas Schroeder in York, waited for Sue Wheeler to arrive, then motored through North Yorkshire toward the sea on a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon. The daffodils were already fully in bloom here and trees the hawthorn and cherry trees were white and pink with petals. Thomas and Sue had plenty to talk about, catching up, so Diane and I mostly listened from the back seat. They had no problem with Soti and I joining CRN and working on new versions of the main CRN questionnaire.

Arrival. The hotel was much as remembered it from 10 years ago, the last time I attended UK-SPR. The big bay window in our room commanded a view across the sweep of the coastal bay toward Robin Hood’s Cove in the distance, the rocky beach mostly covered at high tide.

Steering Group. I was immediately plunged into the steering group meeting for UK-SPR, to which I have been “co-opted” as the price for support for our bid to start a Scottish Local Area Group of SPR. Chris Evans, currently UK Regional Vice President, was running the meeting in a somewhat free flowing manner, weaving between a set related topics including where to have next year’s meeting, how to attract more members to the UK chapter, relations with the parent organization, the international SPR, and what the goals and purposes of the UK chapter are. I made myself somewhat unpopular by expressing the long-held view that the UK chapter might better to a Local Area Group within the European Chapter, but as expected this was not met with enthusiasm, presumably for many the same reasons as proposals for the UK to adopt the Euro! For my sins, I felt obligated to volunteer to try to liase with the British Association for the Person-Centred Approach about possible collaborations/joint meetings etc.

Food. The food at Ravenscar was as amazing as I remembered it, starting with the full breakfasts (except for the missing kipper from 1985), the cream tea and scones, and the three course dinners. We tried not to overeat, but it was a constant struggle. (Tonight, on the way home, it’s sandwich wraps on the train…)

Scottish SPR. This year’s meeting was smaller than previous meetings I remembered; with about 40 attendees, but the presentations were generally interesting, stimulating, and nicely offered. We connected with a substantial group of psychodynamically-oriented personality/ trauma researchers from Aberdeen, and spent part of Saturday evening watching the sun go down between the cliffs and discussing possibilities for Scottish SPR and ScotCon. The Aberdeen contingent, although larger than the Central Scotland group, is happy for now for us to organize monthly meetings in the Glasgow City Centre, and we promised to invite them down in the Fall to present on their research. We have agreed to set up an email list and keep them informed of developments, including the possibility of additional meetings that might be easier for them to attend. For their part, they invited us to join their personality disorders group that meets periodically in Glasgow. (That might be a difficult sell for some of my more classical person-centred colleagues…) So we took another step toward a Scottish SPR.

My presentations. My main presentation, early Monday afternoon, turned out well. As a political/scientific statement, I chosen to show a couple of video clips from the case study I was presenting. I find that this grounds the discussion on the actually therapy process, and I believe that more SPR presentations should feature “the real stuff”. However, doing this does tend to attract interesting comments from audiences, and in this instance I was not surprised when several audience members thought I should have been offering my client psychodynamic interpretations! One, an enthusiastic anglo-asian clinical psychologist named Zaman Kapur, who works in Northern Ireland, tried to convince me that I should given a transference interpretation in the first minute of session one! Out of curiosity, I attended his presentation this morning to see what he was talking about, only to be struck by how much his interpretations sounded like emapathic exploratory reflections of implied relational challenges! This is of course why it is so important for us to look at what we are actually doing rather to the labels that we attach to what we are doing…

The workshop also worked out very well, with some of the most thoughtful and creative responses to the HSCED method I have yet heard. Glenys Parry offered to assemble a jury of lay people, including service users (=mental health consumers). Mick got excited and proposed having all of our students do HSCED studies for their masters’ degrees. We talked about burden of proof, when the full method would be most useful, the value of the affirmative and skeptic summary narratives (“closing arguments”), the acceptability and political utility of HSCED studies, and so on. It was proposed that one affirmative verdict HSCED is enough to establish a treatment as “possibly efficacious”; while three affirmative verdict HSCED cases might be enough to establish a firm prececent. And so on... A fun time was had by all, it seems.

Politics. Mick and I received a briefing from Jeremy Clarke about developments in the proposal to make CBT the preferred treatment for anxiety and depression throughout England (the Leyard Report). Jeremy is working for one of the psychoanalytic organizations (I can’t keep them all straight) as a kind of lobbyist to somehow head off the total hegemony of CBT in Brittain. He wants UK-SPR and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) to put together a national research agenda endorsed by a variety of relevant scientists as an alternative to the current RCT (=randomized clinical trials) rules all position. I took advantage of the situation to bring him up to speed on the results of the experiential/ person-centred therapy meta-analysis; on my ideas for defending Stiles, Barkham et al.’s big practice-based studies as “functionally equivalent to RCTs” (fRCTs); and on the scientific necessity of multiple lines of evidence. Jeremy is trying to organize a conference in the Autumn to bring all the main players in the debate together. Stay tuned for further developments…

In all, a substantive, enjoyable conference, but I missed David Shapiro’s presence. (David has officially retired from psychotherapy research in order to pursue a new career as a photographer; maybe we should invite him next year to take pictures…).

I was sorry to have to leave early, but duty calls; I have supervision tomorrow (Wednesday) and another conference in Yorkshire next week (BPS).

UK-SPR and the Origins of Process-Experiential Therapy

Entry written 13 March 13, 2007 while returning from UK-SPR/Ravenscar-2007:

We first attended the annual meeting of the UK Chapter of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (UK-SPR) in 1985, while we were living in Sheffield, England during my first sabbatical. The meeting was small and intimate, less than 100. The setting was Raven Hall, a dramatic, windswept country hotel on a rocky promontory overlooking the North Sea. Legend has it that during his spells of madness King George III was kept in asylum at Raven Hall; and indeed the main meeting room was the George III Room. At that conference, Bill Stiles and I gave presentations, and it appears that that may have started a tradition of bringing in one or preferably two international psychotherapy researchers each year. (In fact, they had me back some years later, in 1996, when the other international guest was Jackie Persons, developer of a personalized approach to cognitive therapy.)

This year’s conference brought back strongly to me memories of my first Ravenscar meeting. I have written in a book chapter (Elliott, 1999) about how the 1985 UK-SPR meeting turned out to be a turning point in my professional career, which led to my involvement in what became Process-Experiential therapy. Prior to that time, I practiced in an eclectic psychodynamic-experiential mix (with occasional bits of CBT thrown in). At the Ravenscar meeting in 1985, I presented a significant event in which I interpreted my client’s dream, including my client’s account of her moment-by-moment experiences during the event, gathered through the use of Interpersonal Process Recall:

As I presented these data to the audience of primarily psychodynamically-oriented therapists, one of them offered a psychodynamic interpretation of something the client had reported to the researcher in the IPR interview. In response, I told the audience that one should not make such high-level inferences about phenomenological data. The analyst who had made the interpretation then pointed out that I had obviously felt no such compunction against interpreting my client’s dream in the therapy session. Wasn’t I being inconsistent, he said, if I refused to do in my research what I did in my practice as a therapist? I agreed that it was inconsistent, but that research and therapy were very different enterprises. In qualitative research, I answered, it is very important to stay close to the research informant’s meanings and not to impose the researcher’s meanings. This argument did not impress the analyst, but we were forced to leave the issue there. (Elliott, 1999)

Nevertheless, I went away from this confrontation deeply troubled. I knew that the analyst was correct in his observation. However, as I reflected on the contradiction, I realized that my commitment to understanding the client’s experience in his or her own terms – as I had developed it in my research - was more important to me than the pleasure I took in interpreting my clients. I had to admit my use of interpretations was more about being clever than really helping clients, since over the years I had gradually lost my faith in the mutative power of interpretations, at least as I practiced them, and had become disturbed by the work of Strupp and others on their potentially harmful effects. If something had to give, it was going to have to be my therapeutic orientation!

The rest is history, as the saying goes: We returned to Ohio, with me determined to carry out the kind of process-outcome research I had seen being done by David Shapiro and his team at the University of Sheffield. I began working with Laura Rice and Les Greenberg to develop the therapy to be delivered, which eventually became known as the Process-Experiential approach, and still later Emotion-Focused Therapy. And that all started at Ravenscar!

Reference: Elliott, R. (1999). The Origins of Process-Experiential Therapy: A Personal Case Study in Practice-Research Integration. In S. Soldz & L. McCullough Vaillant, Reconciling empirical knowledge and clinical experience: The art and science of psychotherapy (pp. 33-49) . Washington, D.C.: APA Books.

Soti Grafanaki

Entry written 13 March 13, 2007:

Soti is an energetic, loquacious Greek woman who got her PhD with John McLeod at Keele University in the mid-90’s and who now works at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada. Since last May, I have been in conversation with her about the International Project on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training (IPEPPT), encouraging her to see if she could develop a Canadian branch. She’s been a bit frustrated with us here at Strathclyde for not being more responsive to her desire to be in collaboration with us and I have been very nervous that this project might be the last straw that totally buries me. (It didn’t help that until the beginning of January I thought she was talking about starting next academic year when in fact she was talking about this calendar year!) So I think we both approached our meeting with some concern about whether it be OK. What happened, though, was an emerging sense of synergy between of our separate interests and talents.

However, as this project has begun to take shape, the points of convergence have come into focus. Soti came with a clearer sense than I do of how to promote the training evaluation component of IPEPPT, and has made good progress toward developing a Canadian network of programs interested in running a shared protocol. I fed her various instruments for the therapy evaluation components, which is the part that I understand better. We worked on converting an existing instrument, the main questionnaire used by Orlinsky et al.’s Collaborative Research Network (CRN) into something that can be used appropriately by student trainees as a pre-post measure during the first year or two or their training as counsellors/therapists. Then we decided that we need to create supervisor and clients forms of this instrument (using subsets of items from the trainee form). I emailed David Orlinsky while Soti was here, and a couple days later got his blessing for proceeding on the instrument revisions. In return, Soti and I have been co-opted onto the steering group for CRN, with the remit of helping to develop the next phase of CRN research, in effect integrating CRN and IPEPPT.

Finally, I briefed Soti for working with Alberto Zucconi and in his team in Rome when she goes there in May and we reviewed possibilities for the Italian IPEPPT protocol. Alberto’s Italian colleagues are getting a bit tired of hearing from me, so I an sure that they will welcome a change of face and her energy, which matches Alberto’s.

The result was that by the time Soti left, I was feeling much more optimistic about possibilities for moving IPEPPT forward and Soti was feeling much more connected and supported in what she is doing. She and I had discovered that we could work on this productively together. By the second day, we had found a nice working rhythm, and it became clear to me that we could make a good team, with her energy and outgoing nature providing a much needed boost for IPEPPT.

At the same time, it also became clear to me that all this is going to feed back into what I am working with Julie Folkes-Skinner, a PhD student from Leicester who is going to be running an evaluation of the Fulltime Diploma course here at Strathclyde next year. And two key members of CRN, Thomas Schroeder (U of Nottingham) and Sue Wheeler (University of Leicester), were going to be at the UK-SPR meeting in Ravenscar next week… Synergy is great!

The International Project on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training (IPEPPT)

Entry written 13 March 2007:

One of my main research involvements over the past three years has been the International Project on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training (IPEPPT). IPEPPT was formally initiated in June, 2004, by the Italian Coordinamento Nazionale Scuole di Psicoterapia and the Italian Federation of Psychotherapy Associations. To date, a Scientific Steering Committee has been formed along with an orientation-specific working group for person-centered and experiential psychotherapies. The general goal of this project is to improve psychotherapy and psychotherapy training in a broad range of theoretical approaches, by encouraging systematic research in therapy training institutes and university-based training clinics. The person-centered and experiential psychotherapies working group maintains an invitational demonstration website ( and currently includes members from Belgium, Scotland, Canada, the USA, and Australia, Portugal, Slovakia, Greece and Austria.

This project has two primary components: The first component involves facilitating practice-based research on the effectiveness of psychotherapy in universities and training institutes in Europe, North American and elsewhere. In these settings, randomized clinical trials are generally impractical and tend not to be useful for understanding or improving therapy. Instead, implementing this component requires the development of a research framework for assessing therapy process and outcome that can be used across a range of theoretical orientations, modalities, and client populations.

The second component of the project involves promotion of research evaluating the effectiveness of therapy training in university and institute-based training programs. These evaluation activities should be able to provide both formative and summative functions. That is, they should enable us to improve training by providing feedback about effective and ineffective training processes; and they should also enable us to demonstrate the effectiveness of training programs to accrediting and funding agencies. A multi-orientation star design is also planned for this component, with a common core of key training outcomes, amplified by specialized evaluation protocols for particular therapy approaches or orientations.

So far, we have put in two unsuccessful bids for EU funding for this project, organized by Alberto’s grant writers in Rome, but little has happened over the past 6 months. As I learned last week, however, Alberto’s team have given up for now and Alberto is now asking me to pursue funding from my new position in Scotland. The deadline is May, but I have so much on my agenda right now that this is going to be extremely difficult to do. Progress is still possible without grant funding, which is what I would prefer to do for the time being, at least until the research clinic at Strathclyde is up and running.

What’s Been Happening?

Entry written 11-13 March 2007:

1. Following the guidance of Cory Doctorow in the December issue of Locus (a magazine for professional science fiction writers and serious SF fans), I have been adding website-type features to this blog. Thus, the addition of a News category and categories pointing to lists of Articles, Books, Book Chapters, and Training Opportunities. The latter don’t make for particularly fascinating reading, but are intended to be useful resources and be readily updatable.

2. In the week since my mom and sister left, we have begun to prepare for the next chapter of the adventure here: conferences (two in March, including the UK-SPR conference in Ravenscar to which we are travelling as I write this); visits home (Diane to California next week; visits to Ohio in June and August), visitors (Mikio Shimizu arrives at the end of this month and has finally managed to get his visa; Kenneth this summer).

3. And I finally found a new regular running route that works for me. It’s about 6 k and takes 31-32 minutes to run: It goes up Clevedon Road north of Great Western Road, to the top of large hill that overlooks the West End and, just at the crest, has a spectacular view to the hills and mountains north of Glasgow. Then there is a steep downhill to the canal, where I turn east and follow the canal, the River Kelvin. After that, it’s down the river to the Botanic Garden, back to Great Western on Kirklee Road, and home again. So I get a bit of the canal and river, and that makes me happy, because I love running next to water.

4. As the week went along, I taught two evenings, covering depressive splits in EFT-2 on Wednesday night, and computer security and ethical issues on Thursday night. On Friday, Wendy and Rosanne came up from England and Mick and I spent much of the day supervising them. Wendy is finishing analyses for a very interesting study of person-centred therapists’ experiences of working with clients with schizophrenic processes and beginning to plan the second phase of her research, a practice-based, treatment development study of the outcome and process of person-centred/experiential work on the same topic. Roseanne is deep in the midst of her study of clients’ experiences of moment of relational depth or closeness. Both had gotten a bit stuck, and Mick and I were able to help them get moving again. As a reward for our hard work, we all (including Diane and Pete Sanders, who was visiting also) went out for a delicious and entertaining Indian meal. Beyond this, I’ve begun serious work on the research protocols for the research clinic, presenting drafts to colleagues. And we also hosted Soti Grafanaki here for a couple days (see next entry). A most productive and enjoyable week at work!

5. To top the week off, I went for a long run based my new route, past Partick Thistle stadium, halfway to Spiers Wharf. At that point, there is a lovely view over the West End, with the spires of Lansdowne Church, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the main hall of Galsgow University sticking up above the rest of the skyline. To the west, was a tall hill topped with an interesting modern church tower (St. Columba’s Catholic?)

6. Then Diane and I went to dinner at Barbara Robinson’s. We had to get up very early the next morning to go to UK-SPR, but it seemed too good an offer to turn down. Barbara is a local Focusing Trainer, who remembered seeing me last May at the Focusing Conference in the Netherlands; we met her at the ecumenical concert at St. Mary’s in January. She and her flat and guests turned out to be even more interesting and fun than we had imagined: Her flat was full of sculptures by her daughter Kate, who was also there; there a fascinating assortment of guests: Ian, a graduate of Strathclyde’s counsellor diploma, who now lives in the Findhorn community near Aberdeen; Annie, who has just published a beautiful, evocative book on the social history of dining over the past hundred years; and Pietro, a clinical psychologists and TA therapist originally from Italy. As with our previous dining experiences, we were once again treated to a sumptuous and delectable meal that exceeded our culinary skills by an order of magnitude! By this time, so many people have opened their homes to us with such heart winning hospitality and conversation that we will never be able to repay their kindness! We left about 11, floating home along Great Western with a sensation of lightness and joy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Level 2 PE-EFT Training 2007-2008

Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Therapy:
Level 2 Workshop and Supervision Series
Facilitated by Robert Elliott
Professor of Counselling, University of Strathclyde

Wednesdays, 6-9pm, 5 September, 2007 – 4 June, 2008
Sir Henry Wood Building Room W313a
Jordanhill Campus
University Of Strathclyde
(Sponsored by the Professional Development Unit, University of Strathclyde)

The Counselling Unit at the University of Strathclyde are pleased again to offer continuing training in Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Therapy (PE/EFT) for counsellors and psychotherapists (Diploma level or above) who have completed Level One training in EFT or the equivalent. This 13-week series will meet approximately every three weeks throughout the 2007-08 academic year, beginning in September. The format will be a mixture of brief lectures, experiential practice exercises in small groups, supervision of cases seen by course members, and discussion.

The specific topics to be covered are flexible based on participant interest, but will emphasize material not covered in the Level 1 course, such as
-Therapist experiential response modes
-Client modes of engagement
-Empathic Exploration as a therapeutic task
-Narrative Retelling of difficult/traumatic experiences
-Clearing a Space for overwhelming or chaotic experiences
-Relational Dialogue for Alliance difficulties
-Creation of Meaning for meaning protests
-Two chair enactment for Self-interruption splits
-Application of PE/EFT tasks to depression, anxiety and self-harm behavior

In addition, based on interest, there will be further work on tasks introduced in the Level 1 training:
-Systematic Evocative Unfolding for Problematic reactions
-Experiential Focusing
-Two chair Dialogue for Conflict Splits
-Empty chair Work for Unfinished business

This series is scheduled for the following dates:

Autumn 2006 term:
5 September
26 September
17 October
7 November
28 November
Winter 2007 term:
9 January
30 January
20 February
12 March
2 April
23 April
14 May
4 June

-Enrolment is set for a maximum of 20.
-Course fee: £395.
-The course could be taken for continuing professional education credit.

Professional Development Unit applications may be downloaded at (Note that that this course is not on the official list.)

Please direct enquiries to the PDU office (0141 950 3734) or Robert Elliott ( or ).

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Elliott, R., Stiles, W., Shiffman, S., Barker, C. B., Burstein, B., & Goodman, G. (1982). Empirical analysis of help- intended communication: Framework and recent research. In T. A. Wills (Ed.), Basic processes in helping relationships. New York: Academic Press.

Elliott, R. (1984). A discovery-oriented approach to significant change events in psychotherapy: Interpersonal Process Recall and Comprehensive Process Analysis. In L.N. Rice & L. Greenberg (Eds.), Patterns of Change, New York: Guilford.

Elliott, R. (1986). Interpersonal Process Recall (IPR) for psychotherapy process research. In L. Greenberg & W. Pinsof (Eds.), Handbook of Psychotherapy Process Research (pp. 503-527). New York: Guilford.

Shapiro, D.A., Firth, J., Stiles, W., Elliott, R., & Llewelyn, S.P. (1987). Process-outcome research strategy: The Sheffield Psychotherapy Project. In W. Huber (Ed.), Progress in psychotherapy research: Selected papers from the 2nd European Conference on Psychotherapy Research (pp. 651-676). Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.

Elliott, R. (1989). Comprehensive Process Analysis: Understanding the change process in significant therapy events. In M. Packer & R.B. Addison (Eds.), Entering the Circle: Hermeneutic Investigation in Psychology. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Elliott, R., Clark, C., Wexler, M., Kemeny, V., Brinkerhoff, J., Mack, C. (1990). The Impact of Experiential therapy of depression: Initial Results. In G. Lietaer, J. Rombauts, & R. Van Balen (Eds.), Client-centered and experiential psychotherapy towards the nineties (549-577). Leuven, Belgium: Leuven University Press.

Greenberg, L.S., Elliott, R., & Foerster, F. (1990). Experiential processes in the psychotherapeutic treatment of depression. In N. Endler, & D.C. McCann (Eds.) Contemporary Perspectives on Emotion (pp. 157-185). Toronto: Wall & Thompson.

Elliott, R. (1991). The psychotherapy research program at the University of Toledo: Investigating significant therapy events. In M. Crago & L. Beutler (Eds.), Psychotherapy research: An international review of programmatic studies. American Psychological Association.

Elliott, R., & Shapiro, D.A. (1992). Clients and therapists as analysts of significant events. In S.G. Toukmanian & D.L. Rennie (Eds.), Psychotherapy process research: Theory-guided and phenomenological research strategies (pp. 163-186). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Elliott, R., Stiles, W.B., & Shapiro, D.A. (1993). "Are Some Psychotherapies more equivalent than others?" In T.R. Giles (Ed.) Handbook of effective psychotherapy (pp. 455-479). New York: Plenum Press.

Greenberg, L., Elliott, R., & Lietaer, G. (1994). Research on experiential psychotherapies. In A.E. Bergin & S.L. Garfield (Eds.) Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (4th ed., pp. 509-539). New York: Wiley.

Elliott, R., & Anderson, C. (1994). Simplicity and complexity in psychotherapy research. In R.L. Russell (Ed.), Reassessing Psychotherapy Research (pp. 65-113). New York: Guilford Press.

Elliott, R. & Morrow-Bradley, C. (1994). Developing a Working Marriage between Psychotherapists and Psychotherapy Researchers: Identifying Shared Purposes. In P.F. Talley, H.H. Strupp, & S.F. Butler (eds.), Research findings and clinical practice: Bridging the chasm (pp. 124-142). New York: Basic Books.

Elliott, R., & Greenberg, L.S. (1995). Experiential Therapy in Practice: The Process-Experiential Approach. In B. Bongar & L. Beutler, (eds.), Foundations of Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice (pp. 123-139). Stanford, CA: Oxford University Press.

Elliott, R. (1995). Therapy process research and clinical practice: Practical strategies. In M. Aveline & D.A. Shapiro (eds.), Research foundations for psychotherapy (pp. 49-72). Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Elliott, R., & Suter, P. (1995). Post-traumatische stress-stoornis [Post-traumatic stress disorder]. In G. Lietaer & M. Van Kalmthout (eds.), Praktijkboek gesprekstherapie [Handbook of Client-Centered therapy], Utrecht: De Tijdstroom. [in Dutch]

Elliott, R., Suter, P., Manford, J., Radpour-Markert, L., Siegel-Hinson, R., Layman, C., & Davis, K. (1996). A Process-Experiential Approach to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In R. Hutterer, G. Pawlowsky, P.F. Schmid, & R. Stipsits (eds.), Client-centered and experiential psychotherapy: A paradigm in motion (pp.235-254). Frankfurt am Main, Germany: Peter Lang.

Elliott, R. (1996). Are Client-Centered/Experiential Therapies Effective? A Meta-Analysis of Outcome Research. In U. Esser, H. Pabst, G-W Speierer (eds.), The power of the Person-Centered-Approach: New challenges-perspectives-answers (pp. 125-138). Köln, Germany: GwG Verlag.

Greenberg, L.S., & Elliott, R. (1997). Varieties of empathic responding. In A. Bohart & L.S. Greenberg, Empathy reconsidered: New directions in psychotherapy (pp. 167-186). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association Press.

Elliott, R., Davis, K., & Slatick, E. (1998). Process-Experiential Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Difficulties. In L. Greenberg, G. Lietaer, & J. Watson, Handbook of experiential psychotherapy (pp. 249-271). New York: Guilford.

Elliott, R. (1999). The Origins of Process-Experiential Therapy: A Personal Case Study in Practice-Research Integration. In S. Soldz & L. McCullough Vaillant, Reconciling empirical knowledge and clinical experience: The art and science of psychotherapy (pp. 33-49) . Washington, D.C.: APA Books.

Elliott, R., Slatick, E. & Urman, M. (2000). “So the fear is like a thing...”: A Significant Empathic Exploration Event in Process-Experiential Therapy for PTSD. In J. Marques-Teixeira & S. Antunes (Eds.), Client-centered and experiential psychotherapy (pp. 179-204). Linda a Velha, Portugal: Vale & Vale.

Elliott, R. (2001). Hermeneutic single case efficacy design (HSCED): An overview. In K.J.Schneider, J.F.T. Bugental & J.F. Fraser (eds.), Handbook of Humanistic Psychology (pp. 315-324), Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Elliott, R., & Greenberg, L.S. (2002). Process-Experiential Psychotherapy. In D. Cain & J. Seeman (eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 279-306). Washington, D.C.: APA.

Sachse, R., & Elliott, R. (2002). Process-Outcome Research in Client-Centered and Experiential Therapies. In D. Cain & J. Seeman (eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 83-115). Washington, D.C.: APA.

Elliott, R. (2002). Research on the Effectiveness of Humanistic Therapies: A Meta-Analysis. In D. Cain & J. Seeman (eds.), Humanistic psychotherapies: Handbook of research and practice (pp. 57-81). Washington, D.C.: APA.

Bohart, A.C., Elliott, R., Greenberg, L.S., Watson, J.C. (2002). Empathy. In J. Norcross, Psychotherapy relationships that work (pp. 89-108). New York: Oxford University Press.

Greenberg, L.S., & Elliott, R. Emotion Focused Therapy. (2002). In F.W. Kaslow & J. Lebow (Eds.). Comprehensive Handbook of Psychotherapy, Vol.4: Integrative and Eclectic Therapies (pp. 213-240). New York: John Wiley & Sons. [Paperback edition, 2004]

Greenberg, L.S., Elliott, R., & Lietaer, G. (2003). The Humanistic-Experiential Approach. In G. Stricker & T Widiger (ed.). Comprehensive Handbook of Psychology, Vol.8 (301-326). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Elliott, R., Greenberg, L.S., & Lietaer, G. (2004). Research on Experiential Psychotherapies. In M.J. Lambert (Ed.), Bergin & Garfield‘s Handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (5th ed.) (pp. 493-539), New York: Wiley.

Elliott, R., & Partyka, R. (2005). Personal therapy and growth work in experiential-humanistic therapies. In J. D. Geller, J. C. Norcross, & D. E. Orlinsky (Eds.). The psychotherapist's own psychotherapy: Patient and clinician perspectives (pp. 34-40). New York: Oxford University Press.

Elliott, R. & Timulak, L. (2005). Descriptive and interpretive approaches to qualitative research. In J. Miles & P. Gilbert (eds.), A Handbook of Research Methods in Clinical and Health Psychology (147-159). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Elliott, R. (2006). Decoding Insight Talk: Discourse Analyses of Insight in Ordinary Language and in Psychotherapy. In L G. Castonguay & C.E. Hill (Eds), Insight in Psychotherapy (167-185). Washington, DC: APA.

Hill, C.E., Castonguay, LG., Elliott, R., et al. (2006). Insight in psychotherapy: Definitions, process, consequences, and research directions. In L G. Castonguay & C.E. Hill (Eds.), Insight in Psychotherapy (441-454). Washington, DC: APA.

Elliott, R. (2007). Person-Centered Approaches to Research. Chapter to appear in M. Cooper, P. F. Schmid, M. O’Hara & G. Wyatt (Eds.). The Handbook Of Person-Centred Therapy (pp. 327-340). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Elliott, R., & Davis, K. (in press). Therapist experiential processing in Process-Experiential Therapy. In F. Caspar (ed.), The inner processes of psychotherapists: Innovations in clinical training. Stanford, CA: Oxford University Press.

Elliott, R. & Zucconi, A. (in press). Organization and Conceptual Framework for Practice-Based Research on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training. In M. Barkham, G. Hardy, & J. Mellor-Clark (Eds.). A core approach to delivering practice-based evidence in counselling and the psychological therapies. Chicester, UK:Wiley & Sons.


Elliott, R. (1979). How clients perceive helper behaviors. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 26, 185-294.

Elliott, R., Barker, C.B., Caskey, N., & Pistrang, N. (1982). Differential helpfulness of counselor verbal response modes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 29, 379-387.

Elliott, R., Filipovich, H., Harrigan, L., Gaynor, J., Reimschuessel, C., & Zapadka, J.K. (1982). Measuring response empathy: The development of a multi-component rating scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 29, 354-361.

Kushner, K., Elliott, R., & Kunst-Wilson, W.R. (1982). The Affective Sensitivity Test as a function of stimulus modality: Does complete information hinder performance? Psychological Reports, 50, 691-694.

Elliott, R. (1983). Fitting process research to the practicing psychotherapist. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 20, 47-55.

Elliott, R. (1983). "'That in your hands...': A comprehensive process analysis of a significant event in psychotherapy. Psychiatry, 46, 113-129.

Caskey, N., Barker, C., & Elliott, R. (1984). Dual perspectives: Clients' and therapists' perceptions of therapist responses. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 23, 281-290.

Elliott, R. (1985). Helpful and nonhelpful events in brief counseling interviews: An empirical taxonomy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32, 307-322.

Elliott, R., James, E., Reimschuessel, C., Cislo, D., & Sack, N. (1985). Significant events and the analysis of immediate therapeutic impacts. Psychotherapy, 22, 620-630.

Morrow-Bradley, C., & Elliott, R. (1986). The utilization of psychotherapy research by practicing psychotherapists. American Psychologist, 41, 188-197. [Reprinted in: Mindell, J.A., et al. (1993). Issues in clinical psychology (pp. 11-35). Dubuque, IA: Brown & Benchmark/Wm. C. Brown Publishers.]

Stiles, W.B., Shapiro, D.A. & Elliott, R. (1986). "Are all psychotherapies equivalent?" American Psychologist, 41, 165-180.

Elliott, R, Hill, C.E., Stiles, W. B., Friedlander, M.L., Mahrer, A., & Margison, F. (1987). Primary therapist response modes: A comparison of six rating systems. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 218-223. [Reprinted in C.E. Hill (ed.), (2001). Helping skills: The empirical foundation (pp. 9-19). Washington, DC: APA.]

Davis, J.D., Elliott, R., Davis, M.L., Binns, M., Francis, V.M., Kelman, J., & Schroeder, T. (1987). Development of a taxonomy of therapist difficulties: Initial report. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 60, 109-119.

Llewelyn, S.P., Elliott, R., Shapiro, D.A., Firth, J., & Hardy, G. (1988). Client perceptions of significant events in prescriptive and exploratory periods of individual therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 27, 105-114.

Elliott, R., & Shapiro, D. A. (1988). Brief Structured Recall: A more efficient method for identifying and describing significant therapy events. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 61, 141-153.

Elliott, R. & James, E. (1989). Varieties of client experience in psychotherapy: An analysis of the literature. Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 443-468.

Stiles, W.B., Elliott, R., Llewelyn, S.P, Firth-Cozens, J.A., Margison, F.R., Shapiro, D.A., & Hardy, G. (1990). Assimilation of problematic experiences by clients in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 27, 411-420.

Elliott, R. (1991). Five dimensions of therapy process. Psychotherapy Research, 1, 92-103.

Elliott, R. (1992). A Conceptual Analysis of Lambert et al.'s Conceptual Scheme for Outcome Assessment. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70, 535-537.

Labott, S., Elliott, R., & Eason, P. (1992). "If you love someone, you don't hurt them": A comprehensive process analysis of a weeping event in psychotherapy. Psychiatry, 55, 49-62.

Elliott, R. (1994). Alternative prescriptions for integrating psychotherapy with psychology. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 4, 47-53.

Elliott, R. & Wexler, M.M. (1994). Measuring the impact of treatment sessions: The Session Impacts Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41, 166-174.

Elliott, R., Shapiro, D.A., Firth-Cozens, J., Stiles, W.B., Hardy, G., Llewelyn, S.P, & Margison, F. (1994). Comprehensive process analysis of insight events in cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic-interpersonal therapies. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41, 449-463. [Reprinted in C.E. Hill (ed.), (2001). Helping skills: The empirical foundation (pp. 309-333). Washington, DC: APA.]

Rhodes, R.H., Hill, C.E., Thompson, B.J., & Elliott, R. (1994). Client retrospective recall of resolved and unresolved misunderstanding events. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 41, 473-483.

Elliott, R. (1996). Sind klientenzentrierte Erfahrungstherapien effektiv? Eine Meta-Analyse zur Effektforschung. GwG-Zeitschrift, 101, 29-36.

Reeker, J. Ensing, D., & Elliott, R. (1997). A meta-analysis of outcome research on group treatments for sexually abused children. Child Abuse & Neglect, 21, 669-680.

Elliott, R., & Greenberg, L.S. (1997). Multiple Voices in Process-Experiential Therapy: Dialogues between Aspects of the Self. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 7, 225-239.

Stiles, W.B., Benjamin, L.S., Elliott, R., Fonagy, P., Greenberg, L.S., Hermans, H.J.M., Bucci, W.S., Karon, B. P., Leiman, M. (1997). Multiple Voices: A Virtual Discussion. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 7, 241-262.

Elliott, R. (1998). Editor’s Introduction: A Guide to the Empirically-Supported Treatments Controversy. Psychotherapy Research, 8, 115-125.

Knox, M., Funk, J., Elliott, R., & Bush, E.G. (1998). Adolescents’ possible selves and their relationship to global self-esteem. Sex Roles, 39, 61-80.

Hardy, G.E., Rees, A., Field, S.D., Barkham, M., Shapiro, D., & Elliott, R. (1998). "Whingeing versus working": A comprehensive process analysis of a vague awareness event in psychodynamic-interpersonal therapy. Psychotherapy Research, 8, 334-353.

Elliott, R. (1999). Prozeß-Erlebnisorientierte Psychotherapie – Ein Überblick [The Process-Experiential Approach to Psychotherapy: An Overview]. Psychotherapeut, 44, 203-213 [part 1], 44, 340-349 [part 2] (German).

Funk, J.B., Elliott, R. Urman, M.L., Flores, G.T. & Mock, R.M. (1999). The Attitudes towards Violence Scale: A measure for adolescents. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 1123-1136.

Elliott, R., Fischer, C., & Rennie, D. (1999). Evolving guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies in psychology and related fields. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38, 215-229.

Elliott, R. (1999). Editor’s introduction to special issue on qualitative psychotherapy research: Definitions, themes and discoveries. Psychotherapy Research, 9, 251-257.

Elliott, R., Fischer, C., & Rennie, D. (2000). Also against methodolatry: Reply to Reicher. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 7-10.

Knox, M., Funk, J., Elliott, R. & Bush, E.G. (2000). Gender differences in adolescent’s possible selves. Youth & Society, 31, 287-309.

Barry, D., Elliott, R., & Evans, E.M. (2000). Foreigners in a strange land: Ethnic identity, self-construal, socialization practices, and self-esteem in male Arab immigrants. Journal of Immigrant Health, 2, 133-144.

Elliott, R. Contemporary Brief Experiential Psychotherapy. (2001). Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8, 38-50.

Elliott, R., Slatick, E., & Urman, M. (2001). Qualitative Change Process Research on Psychotherapy: Alternative Strategies. Psychologische Beiträge, 43(3), 69-111. [Reprinted in: J. Frommer and D.L. Rennie (Eds.), Qualitative psychotherapy research: Methods and methodology (pp. 69-111). Lengerich, Germany: Pabst Science Publishers.]

Rees, A., Hardy, G.E., Barkham, M., Elliott, R., Smith, J. & Reynolds, S. (2001). "It’s like catching a desire before it flies away": A comprehensive process analysis of a problem clarification event in cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression. Psychotherapy Research, 11, 331-351.

Greenberg, L.S., Elliott, R., Watson, J.C., & Bohart, A. (2001). Empathy. Psychotherapy: Theory/Research/Practice/Training, 38, 380-384.

Elliott, R. (2002). Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design. Psychotherapy Research, 12, 1-20.

Urman, M., Funk, J. B., & Elliott, R. (2002). Children's experience of traumatic events: The negotiation of normalcy and difference. Clinical Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry, 6, 403-424.

Elliott, R. (2002). Render unto Caesar: Quantitative and Qualitative Knowing in Person-Centered/Experiential Therapy Research. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy, 1, 102-117.

Funk, J., Elliott, R., Bechtoldt, H., Pasold, T., & Tsavoussis, A. (2003). The attitudes toward violence scale: Child version. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18, 196-196.

Anderson, J., Funk, J., Elliott, R., & Smith, P.H. (2003). Children’s extracurricular activities: Consequences of parental support and pressure. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 24, 241-257.

Timulak, L., & Elliott, R. (2003). Empowerment Events in Process-Experiential Psychotherapy of Depression: A Qualitative Analysis. Psychotherapy Research, 13, 443-460.

Elliott, R., Orlinsky, D., Klein, M., Amer, M., & Partyka, R. (2003). Professional Characteristics of Humanistic Therapists: Analyses of the Collaborative Research Network Sample. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies,2 188-203.

Cooper, M., Mearns, D., Stiles, W.B., Warner, M., & Elliott, R. (2004). Developing self-pluralistic perspectives within the person-centered and experiential Approaches: A round-table dialogue. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 3, 176-191.

Elliott, R. (2004). Progetto internazionale sull’efficacia della psicoterapia e dei training in psicoterapia. Da Persona a Persona: Revista di Studi Rogersiani (November), 77-80.

Klein, M.J., & Elliott, J. (2006). Client Accounts of personal change in Process-Experiential psychotherapy: A methodologically pluralistic approach. Psychotherapy Research. 16, 91-105.

Elliott, R., & Zucconi, A. (2006). Doing Research on the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy Training: A Person-Centered/Experiential Perspective. Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies, 5, 82-100.

Elliott, R., Fox, C.M., Beltyukova, S.A., Stone, G.E., Gunderson, J., & Zhang, Xi. (2006). Deconstructing therapy outcome measurement with Rasch analysis: The SCL-90-R. Psychological Assessment, 18, 359-372.

Elliott, R. (in press). A Linguistic Phenomenology of ways of knowing and its implications for psychotherapy research and psychotherapy integration. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration.

Rober, P., Van Eesbeek, D., & Elliott, R. (in press). Talking about Violence: A micro-analysis of narrative processes in a family therapy session. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.

Rober, P., Elliott, R., Buysse, A., Loots, G., & De Corte, K. (in press). What's on the therapist's mind? A grounded theory analysis of family therapist reflections during individual therapy sessions. Psychotherapy Research.

Elliott, R., & L.S. Greenberg. (in press). The Essence of Process-Experiential /Emotion-Focused Therapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy.

Elliott, R., & Freire, E. (in press). Classical Person-Centered and Experiential Perspectives on Rogers (1957). Psychotherapy.


Greenberg, L.S., Rice, L.N., & Elliott, R. (1993). Facilitating emotional change. New York: Guilford Press. [paperback edition: 1996] [Spanish translation: (1996). Facilitando el cambio emocional. Barcelona, Spain: Paidós.] [Italian translation: (2000). I processi del cambiamento emozionale. Rome: LAS.] [German translation: (2003). Emotionale Veränderung fördern: Grundlagen einer prozeß- und erlebensorientierten Therapie. Paderborn, Germany: Junfermann.] [Japanese translation: (2006). Kanjou ni Hatarakikakeru Mensetsu Gihou - Shinriryouhou no Tougouteki Apuroochi . Tokyo, Japan: Seishin Shobou]

Barker, C., Pistrang, N., & Elliott, R. (1994). Research methods in clinical and counseling psychology. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons. [paperback edition, 1995].

Barker, C., Pistrang, N., & Elliott, R. (2002). Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners (2nd ed.). Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Elliott, R., Watson, J., Goldman, R.. Greenberg, L.S. (2004). Learning emotion-focused therapy: The process-experiential approach to change. Washington, DC: APA.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Announcement: Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Psychotherapy: 2007 Level One Training

Facilitated by Robert Elliott & Jeanne Watson
Monday 9th – Thursday 12th July 2007
Jordanhill Campus, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

The Counselling Unit at the University of Strathclyde are delighted to be able once again to offer qualified counsellors and psychotherapists (Diploma level or above) the opportunity to participate in professional training in Process-Experiential/Emotion-focused Therapy. PE-EFT is one of the most vibrant, empirically-grounded and emerging ‘tribes’ of the person-centred and experiential approach, and has gained international renown through the work of Les Greenberg, Robert Elliott, Jeanne Watson and their colleagues.

This four-day programme repeats last year’s highly successful Level One PE-EFT training and will once again provide participants with a solid grounding in the skills required to work more directly with emotion in psychotherapy. Participants will receive an in-depth skills training through a combination of brief lectures, video demonstrations, live modelling, case discussions, and extensive supervised role-playing practice. The workshop will begin with a discussion of basic principles and the role of emotion and emotional awareness in function and dysfunction. Differential intervention based on process diagnosis will be demonstrated. Videotaped examples of evidence based methods for evoking and dealing with overwhelming emotions, emotions in self-criticism, and emotional injuries from the past will be presented and discussed.

Participants will be trained in the skills of moment-by-moment attunement to affect, and the use of methods of dialoguing with parts or configurations of self and imagined significant others in an empty chair. This training will provide therapists from person-centred and related backgrounds with an opportunity to develop their therapeutic skills and interests.

Educational Objectives: Participants on the training programme will learn:
1. To implement the basic principles of PE-EFT
2. To identify different types of emotional expression;
3. When to help clients contain and when to access emotion;
4. How to access adaptive emotions to produce change;
5. To facilitate emotional processing to resolve self-critical splits and unfinished business.

Programme Outline

Monday Morning: Foundations, Emotion, Empathy & Alliance Formation
• Distinctive features of the PE-EFT: neo-humanism & therapeutic principles
• Process-experiential emotion theory: emotion schemes
• Empathic attunement, validation and creating an alliance

Monday Afternoon: Therapeutic Tasks, Focusing on Feelings, Empathic Exploration
• Attachment theory and therapeutic change
• Therapeutic tasks and process formulation
• Empathic exploration, evocative empathy, empathic conjecture
• Empathic exploration as a therapeutic task
• Skills practice

Tuesday Morning: Awareness & Internal Search Processes
• Emotion regulation
• Focusing and Clearing a Space
• Evocative unfolding
• Skills practice

Tuesday Afternoon: Active Expression Processes
• Dialectical constructivist models of self
• Two chair dialogue and splits
• Skills practice

Wednesday Morning: Accessing Primary Adaptive Emotions & Core Problematic Schemes
• Emotion response types & emotional change principles
• Accessing adaptive and problematic emotional responses
• Accessing core problematic emotion schemes
• Empty chair dialogue and unfinished business
• Skills practice

Wednesday Afternoon: Restructuring Core Schemes
• Supporting the emergence of primary needs
• Helping clients use adaptive emotions to challenge core problematic emotion schemes
• Letting go of unmet needs
• Provision of new experiences
• Skills practice

Thursday Morning: Empirical support, Self-soothing & Meaning Creation
• Summary of Research evidence
• Supporting a self-affirming stance
• Promoting new narrative constructions
• Skills practice

Thursday Afternoon: Personalized Applications
• Practical parameters
• Depression, Post-traumatic stress difficulties
• Social anxiety
• Borderline processes
• Skill training
• Contraindications

About the Facilitators

Robert Elliott, Ph.D. Robert is professor in the Counselling Unit at the University of Strathclyde, where he teachers on the postgraduate diploma and MSc courses in Person-Centred Counselling. He taught at the University of Toledo 1978-2006, where he was Professor of Psychology, Director of Clinical Training and Director of the Center for the Study of Experiential Psychotherapy. He has also been a guest professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, University of Sheffield, UK, and La Trobe University, Australia. He is co-author of Facilitating Emotional Change (1993), Learning Emotion-focused Therapy (2004), and Research Methods for Clinical Psychology (2003), as well as more than 90 scientific papers or book chapters. He is an editor of the journal, Person-Centered Counseling and Psychotherapies and directs the Scottish Consortium for Psychotherapy and Counselling Research and the Strathclyde Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling Research.

Jeanne Watson, Ph.D. Jeanne is associate professor in the Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology, at OISE at the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Watson was the recipient of the Outstanding Early Achievement Award from the Society for Psychotherapy Research in 2001. She has co-authored and edited several books on counselling practice, including Learning Emotion Focused Therapy, Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy in the 21st Century, Handbook of Experiential Psychotherapy, and most recently Emotion-focused Therapy for Depression (with Leslie Greenberg, 2005). Jeanne conducts research on empathy, depression and psychotherapy process and outcome in PE-EFT. She conducts workshops in PE-EFT and teaches courses in counselling theory and practice to Masters and Ph.D. students in the postgraduate course in Counselling Psychology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Watson maintains a part-time private practice in Toronto.

Application Information: If you would like to reserve a place on this training course, please complete and return the application form overleaf. Places are strictly limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

The fee for this four-day event is £445. Please note that to keep costs to a minimum, catering is not included in this fee. We are pleased to offer an Early Bird Discount of £50.00 to those who book before 20th March 2007. To take advantage of this offer, applications must be received by this date with no exceptions.

For further information on this event, please contact Karen McDairmant, Professional Development Unit on 0141 950 3734 or at

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Suggestions on Enhancing the Relevance of Research on Counsellor/Therapist Experiences

Entry for 4 March 2007:

A common topic for MSc dissertations (=masters theses) here in the Counselling Unit is counselor experiences of working with X population (e.g., dissociated clients) or Y counselling situation (e.g., crises). However, these studies often seem unfocused and may not contribute substantially to knowledge. It often seems that counsellors are a sample of convenience here, in the same way that Intro Psychology students are in psychology departments.

However, from the point of view of psychotherapy change process research and also PE-EFT, research on therapist experiences can be very productive as an initial phase of a task analysis. Therapists, especially experienced ones, possess a large amount of implicit knowledge or wisdom. The explication of this information is the first step of doing a task analysis, that is, the construction of a rational model of a particular therapeutic task. And even if one is not working in the PE-EFT approach, there is still a lot of information to be had about two main kinds of things: practice principles and client markers/micro-markers. I think that it is important to do research aimed at explicating this implicit knowledge.

First, therapists can be asked about practice principles:
(a) “What have you learned from working with this kind of client/situation?” “What general guidelines have you found useful?” [=change principles]
(b) “What kinds of things do you generally try to avoid doing or getting into?” [=proscriptions]
(c) “Can you give me an example of these?” “Anything else?” [=generally useful follow-up questions]

Second, the researcher can ask about markers/micro-markers and “when-then” practice principles:
(a) “Based on your experience with this kind of client/situation, what kinds of response do you look for in the client as markers of something important happening that needs your attention?” [=markers/micro-markers]
(b) “And what do you then do, in response to such a marker?” [=when-then practice principles]
(c) “Can you give me an example of this?” “Anything else?” [=follow-up questions]

This can be done as a traditional qualitative interview, particularly as a very first step of mapping therapist process expertise. However, an even more productive approach would be to play videotapes of their sessions back for experienced therapists, and to ask them to comment on what principles they were following and what markers they were responding to and what ways.

Sidenote: I have a hundred significant therapy events from the University of Toledo Depression project with this sort of information. These data have never been analyzed, although Julia von Starck, a grad student from Germany did begin work on these data in 2001-02 before withdrawing from her doctoral studies.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reflections on a Visit: Locating Ourselves and Moving on

Entry for 3 March 2007:

My mom and sister Anna left this morning to fly back to California. They were our first extended visitors and the first family members to visit us (a KU Leuven Ph.D. student named Jutta Schnellbacher stayed for a couple days earlier in February). In a way, hosting them solidifies our being here by making us a base, transforming us from transients/visitors ourselves into locals ourselves.

And of course we are becoming more local day by day, as we learn the city. For example, today we visited the Botanic Gardens for the first time. I’ve been running through them for months, but never stopped to look at anything; I was just another transient, passing through, like all the people who use the footpaths there to get themselves from Kelvinside to the Byres Road area. Well, today we actually made a visit. This required either walking, which we didn’t really have time for, or figuring out where to park the car (behind and west of the park, up next to the River Kelvin). What we learned is how extensive are the tropical plant collections in the glass conservatory buildings, which just seem to go on and on: orchids, begonias, bromeliads, cactus, tropic food plants etc. It was enchanting and overwhelming… and only a mile from our flat. Part of being a local is knowing stuff like this.

Much of how I localize myself is by running, and of course by talking and listening to people. One of the Human Resource people at the University referred to “short-leeting” candidates for the research clinic manager this week. I have a really good English language vocabulary, but I had never heard this phrase before. That’s because it’s a Scots word, from the noun “leet”, meaning a list, especially a list of candidates. But it is a word in formal Scots, not informal or working class Scots which I have be concentrating on; it always startles me to run into these!

Diane, however, seems primarily to localize herself by playing host for others. She took Anna to Edinburgh and Stirling on the train; and she organized a series of taxis to ferry the three of them to the University of Glasgow library, the Kelvingrove Museum, and the Saint Mungo Museum; she took Anna shopping on several other occasions. For my part, I drove us all to Rosslyn Chapel and the Edinburgh Labyrinth, and I took Anna around the neighborhood and met the guy in Peckham & Rye, one Hyndland’s many liquor stores, where we got introduced to the art of whiskey-tasting. And we located ourselves more broadly in Scotland by taking my mom and sister to Kilmartin and the Borders. In the process doing these things, we were becoming localized in ways that wouldn’t have happened so quickly if we had just been on our own. Hosting transforms one into a host, and that grounds and locates. So their visit changed us by pushing us into becoming more grounded and competent in our community and locale.

But there was a deeper process of carrying forward at work over the past two weeks also. As they were preparing to leave this morning, we spoke a bit about how the visit had gone, and we noted that we had all gotten to March again, nearly completing the circle of the year since my dad died last spring equinox. Spring is already coming here and in North California; the snow drops have already bloomed and the daffodils are a week less away from blooming also. It has been a year of wandering for us, of travel and pilgrimage. My mom has spent most of the year rotating through Anna’s, Willy’s, Louisa’s and Joseph’s houses; Diane and I have packed up our old lives and moved to Scotland. Conal, my number 2 brother, and his partner Holly are planning to move to Murray Creek in April. So Diane and I were the last stop on my mom’s journey. The repairs on her house are almost finished, and within a week or so, she will be moving back to Murray Creek on a more or less permanent basis.

But it seems that before that could happen, she had to come to Scotland to carry out her understanding of what my dad wanted her to do. When she was just about to leave, as we waited in our close (that’s the shared hall/entryway/stairs of a set of flats) for the taxi , I asked her if she’d had any more messages from my dad, since the trip to Scottish Borders. She started to say, “No,” then paused, thought again, and said, tears in her eyes, that he had asked her to take care of me and to let me know that he loves me very much. We hugged. Then the taxi came up, and they left. I think that somehow, after all our journeying and struggle and tears over the past year, we are all more grounded and located in what our lives already moving into, as another year turns and spring begins to begin. To play on a quote from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, “In our beginning is our beginning”…

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2008 Carl Rogers Award from APA Division of Humanistic Psychology

Entry for 1 March 2007:

I was surprised, amused, touched and delighted a few days ago to learn that the Division of Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association (more commonly referred to as “Division 32” by its members) is giving me the 2008 Carl Rogers Award for “outstanding contribution to the profession or practice of humanistic psychology.” I was informed that Art Bohart nominated me. According Division 32’s guidelines, the nominations are then voted on by the division’s executive committee at their January meeting. There are various categories of awards given, named after famous humanistic psychologists (Charlotte & Karl Buhler; Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Rollo May), with two given each year. The three most recent recipients of the Carl Rogers award are: Jules Seeman (2002), Constance T. Fischer (2005), and Maureen O’Hara (2007).

As part of receiving this award, I am to make a presentation at the Boston APA convention in August 2008. Why so far into the future? I don’t really know; what they said was that they had deadlines to meet, plaques to make etc. I have been trying to think of a good topic, but it is still pretty far in the future, which makes it more difficult to predict what will be make sense to me 18 months from now.

My emotional reactions to this award are positive but complex. First, I was very surprised to learn the news. Perhaps Art told me of his intention to nominate me some time back; if so, I had completely forgotten about it.

At the same time, I felt touched and delighted that they chosen me, because in many ways I have tried to have follow in Carl Rogers’ footsteps. Ever since I made a study of his life and work when I was second year graduate student at UCLA, I have been inspired by Rogers’ example as a person who combined theory, practice and research in this work; who had a deep love for the therapy process; who wished fervently to empower and understand others; who was intellectually ambitious and unafraid to expose his ideas to careful scientific scrutiny, and who kept on growing and changing throughout his life as his ideas and practices evolved through a series of stages. Laura Rice, Les Greenberg and I have always seen Process-Experiential therapy as a natural continuation of Rogers’ approach, as the next stage.

Finally, I have found a certain delicious irony in being given this award, in that I now work in a Rogerian-based training centre, where I often feel here that I am regarded with some suspicion by the more purist Person-Centred therapy types. After all, I ask (open) questions, give (awareness) homework and occasionally or rarely even offer reassurance and tentative interpretations. I find nondirectivity to be a simplistic concept: What kinds? how much? etc. And I certainly don't see it as a necessary or even a sufficient condition for being person-centred.

But here I am: recipient of the 2008 Carl Rogers Award. Cool! I will try my best to live up to the award!