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Client accounts of personal change in process-experiential psychotherapy : a methodologically pluralistic approach

Klein, Melissa J and Elliott, Robert (2006) Client accounts of personal change in process-experiential psychotherapy : a methodologically pluralistic approach. Psychotherapy Research, 16 (1). pp. 91-105. ISSN 1050-3307

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Client changes in psychotherapy can be studied using a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Despite the availability of these various methods, therapy outcomes research is traditionally conducted with only a single-method approach. In the current study, the authors break from this single-genre research and present a pluralistic approach for examining qualitative accounts of personal change for a naturalistic sample of clients who engaged in process-experiential therapy. Open-coding analysis of changes indicated two broad categories: Changes Within the Self and Changes in Life Situation. Content analysis found that changes in experiential processing were more often repor ted at the end of treatment. Analyses of quantitative outcome measures indicated substantial pre/post therapy change. Brief case studies of two clients with contrasting outcomes illustrated limitations of the other methods and identified range and manner of expression of reported changes as directions for further research. In addition to demonstrating the array of information gained from applying different research methods, the pluralistic approach was also used to make comparisons between results.