Helpful factors and outcomes in person-centered therapy with clients who experience psychotic processes: therapists' perspectives

Wendy Traynor, Robert Elliott, Mick Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
10705 Downloads (Pure)


This qualitative study explores person-centered practitioners' perceptions of what is helpful in their work with clients who experience psychotic processes and the impact that they believe this practice has on their clients. In-depth interviews with twenty British person-centered practitioners focused on how they worked with clients who experienced psychotic process, what they perceived as helpful, and how they believed these practices helped their clients. Analyses used a grounded theory approach. In addition to standard person-centered therapy, practices with this client group often incorporated pre-therapy and other elements acquired through advanced training. Emerging themes in perceived useful practice included "getting beyond labels and illness" and "working with particular care and attention." Results suggest the importance of specific therapeutic conditions, especially unconditional positive regard. The perceived therapeutic change most often described was increased social adjustment. Some clients were also perceived by therapists as showing lessened risk of harm to self or others and improvement in self awareness, mood, resilience and other areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-104
Number of pages16
JournalPerson-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • person-centered therapy
  • pre-therapy
  • psychosis
  • qualitative research

Cite this