Handbook of Experiential Psychotherapy  book cover
1st Edition

Handbook of Experiential Psychotherapy

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ISBN 9781572303744
Published November 27, 1998 by Guilford Press
477 Pages

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Book Description

Integrating the work of leading client-centered, gestalt, interpersonal, focusing, and process-oriented therapists, Handbook of Experiential Psychotherapy covers both conceptual foundations and current treatment applications. Contributors present well-articulated approaches to treating depression, PTSD, anxiety, and other problems, emphasizing the need to work with the client's own moment-by-moment experience of disturbing states and processes. The volume delineates a variety of experiential methods--from working with clients to symbolize bodily felt sense, evoke memories, and express intense feelings, to helping them reflect on their experience, maintain gains from session to session, and create new meanings for themselves. The role of the therapist's relational stance in promoting particular emotional processes is also examined, and newly developed models of experiential diagnosis and case formulation are described.

Table of Contents

I. History and Theory
1. The Experiential Paradigm Unfolding: Relationship and Experiencing in Therapy, Watson,
Greenberg, and Lietaer
2. The Theory of Experience-Centered Therapies, Greenberg and Van Balen
II. Foundational Processes
3. Empathic: A Postmodern Way of Being?, Watson, Goldman, and Vanaerschot
4. Dialogic Gestalt Therapy, Yontef
5. Existential Processes, Schneider
6. Focusing Microprocesses, Leijssen
7. Interpersonal Processes, van Kessel and Lietaer
8. The Person as Active Agent in Experiential Therapy, Bohart and Tallman
9. How Can Impressive In-Session Changes Become Impressive Postsession Changes?, Mahrer
III.Differential Treatment Applications
10. Process-Experiential Therapy of Depression, Greenberg, Watson, and Goldman
11. Process-Experiential Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Difficulties, Elliott, Davis, and Slatik
12. Experiential Psychotherapy of the Anxiety Disorders, Wolfe and Sigl
13. Goal-Oriented Client-Centered Psychotherapy of Psychosomatic Disorders, Sachse
14. Experiential Psychodrama with Sexual Trauma, Hudgins
15. The Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Eckert and Biermann-Ratjen
16. A Client-Centered Approach to Therapeutic Work with Dissociated and Fragile Process, Warner
17. Pre-therapy and Pre-symbolic Experiencing, Prouty
18. Psychopathology According to the Differential Incongruence Model, Speirer
19. Diagnosing in the Here and Now: A Gestalt Therapy Approach, Melnick and Nevis
IV. Conclusion
20. Experiential Therapy: Identity and Challenges, Greenberg, Lietaer, and Watson

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Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Psychotherapy Research Center at York University in Canada. Coauthor of Facilitating Emotional Change; Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples; and Emotion in Psychotherapy, he has coedited numerous volumes including Emotion, Psychotherapy, and Change; Empathy Reconsidered; and The Working Alliance. Past President of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research, Dr. Greenberg maintains a private practice in Toronto.


A major shift has occurred in experiential therapy. This seminal text extends the work of Rogers and Perls and provides systematic interventions that target specific client problems. It provides the practicing therapist with a map, a rich theoretical base that emphasizes the client's potential for growth. It also offers specific guidelines for effective practice and clinical examples of tried and empirically tested interventions. This is a classic that will guide therapists for years to come. --Susan M. Johnson, EdD, Professor of Psychology & Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, Canada

I am impressed by the scope and depth of this orientation, its international development, its theory, research base, and wide variety of applications in practice. Because it is centered on the experiential dimension which cuts across other orientations, this book will bring something helpful to every practitioner. --Eugene T. Gendlin, PhD, University of Chicago, author of Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy

This is a splendid transcultural collection that reflects fine scholarship and practical wisdom. It places experiential approaches not only in historical context, but also in their contemporary role as a leading component of 21st century psychotherapy. I recommend it highly. --Michael J. Mahoney, PhD, University of North Texas, Executive Director, Society for Constructivism in the Human Sciences