Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Publication: Elliott & Greenberg (2007)

Entry for 29 October 2007:

A couple of years ago, Al Mahrer approached me about contributing an article on my and Les’ approach to therapy for a special section on Experiential Psychotherapy for the American Journal of Psychotherapy. In due course, the deadline approached and the article was rewritten, submitted, revised etc. Last week I got my copy of the issue with this article in it.

In this article, I tried to communicate the basic ideas of Process-Experiential/ Emotion-Focused Therapy (PE-EFT) as clearly and simply as possible, which at times felt a bit like writing haiku, trying to communicate richness and depth in simplicity. I’m not sure how well we succeeded but I think it was worth a try, anyway. And besides, I had always thought it would be cool to publish something in this particular journal, a classic, old-time psychotherapy journal published by the American Academy of Psychotherapists that I have been reading tables of contents, and more recently abstracts, from for many years. It was a fun project, and I hope some people find it useful. Interestingly, in an introductory piece to the special section, Al Mahrer now regrets the use of the term “experiential psychotherapy” and wonders what all the therapies grouped under its umbrella really have in common… At any rate, here is the citation and an abstract for the paper:

Elliott, R., & L.S. Greenberg. (2007). The Essence of Process-Experiential /Emotion-Focused Therapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 61, 241-254.

Abstract. Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Therapy (PE-EFT; Elliott et al., 2004; Greenberg et al., 1993) is an empirically-supported, neo-humanistic approach that integrates and updates Person-centered, Gestalt and existential therapies. In this article we first present what we see as PE-EFT’s five essential features, namely neo-humanistic values, process-experiential emotion theory, person-centered but process-guiding relational stance, therapist exploratory response style, and marker-guided task strategy. Next, we summarize six treatment principles that guide therapists in carrying out this therapy: achieving empathic attunement, fostering an empathic, caring therapeutic bond, facilitating task collaboration, helping the client process experience appropriately to the task, supporting completion of key client tasks, and fostering client development and empowerment. In general PE-EFT is an approach that seeks to help clients transform contradictions and impasses into wellsprings for growth.

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