A heuristic examination of the application of pre-therapy skills and the person-centered approach in the field of autism

Lorna Carrick, Sheila McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reviews the impact of training non-counselling specialists in Counselling and Pre-Therapy skills and at the effects on their clients at the severe end of the autistic spectrum. Initially most student s clearly expressed their doubts about the possibility of implementing the skills and principals of training with their client group. Their resistance to such a radically different way of working challenged our assumptions that student would embrace this training readily. Feedback at the end of training, reported changes in the lives of clients, in the attitudes of the students and their achievement of the learning outcomes contradicts initial scepticism about the likely efficacy of training and constitute the key qualitative measure used to examine the impact of training. This paper describes our observations of a powerful dyadic change process, which may herald the development of a more helpful way of working with autistic clients
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
JournalPerson-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • heuristic examination
  • pre-therapy skills
  • person-centred
  • autism

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