Process Experiential (PE) therapy is an empirically supported, emotion-focused approach that systematically but flexibly helps clients become aware of and make productive use of their emotions. Based on a 25-year program of research, it provides a distinctive perspective on emotion as a source of meaning, direction and growth, and is geared to helping clients develop their emotional intelligence.

The central concept in PE Therapy is the Emotion Scheme:

Five more key ideas about Process-Experiential Therapy:
  1. Research-informed neo-humanistic therapies such as the Process-Experiential approach have an important role to play in today's behavioral health care field.
  2. The key to effective client change is facilitating client emotional intelligence through expressing, exploring, understanding and restructuring emotions within a genuinely empathic, prizing relationship.
  3. Therapists can help clients by adopting a person-centered but process-guiding relational stance than combines following the client's content with the leading their process.
  4. Working effectively with clients requires adapting the therapist's approach to the client's general presenting problems, the within-session task, and the client's immediate experience in the moment.
  5. The best way to learn a complex therapy such as PE therapy is through a variety of activities, including didactic learning, examples, supervised practice, personal growth work, experience in the client role, and reflection.

Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy:
The Process-Experiential Approach to Change

published by the American Psychological Association, November 2003.

©2004 Robert Elliott