An adjudicated hermeneutic single-case efficacy design study of experiential therapy for panic/phobia

Robert Elliott, Rhea Partyka, Rebecca Alperin, Robert Dobrenski, John Wagner, Stanley B. Messer, Jeanne C. Watson, Louis G. Castonguay

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This paper illustrates the application of an adjudicated form of Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design (HSCED), a critical-reflective method for inferring change and therapeutic influence in single therapy cases. The client was a 61 year-old European-American male diagnosed with panic and bridge phobia. He was seen for 23 sessions of individual Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Therapy. In this study, affirmative and skeptic teams of researchers developed opposing arguments regarding whether the client changed over therapy and whether therapy was responsible for these changes. Three judges representing different theoretical orientations then assessed data and arguments, rendering judgments in favor of the affirmative side. We discuss clinical implications and recommendations for the future interpretive case study research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-557
Number of pages15
JournalPsychotherapy Research
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2009


  • experiential psychotherapy
  • existential psychotherapy
  • humanistic psychotherapy
  • anxiety
  • outcome research
  • process research
  • qualitative research methods


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  • Emotion-focused therapy

    Elliott, R., Dec 2012, The tribes of the person-centred nation: An introduction to the schools of therapy related to the person-centred approach. Sanders, P. (ed.). 2nd revised ed. Ross-on-Wye, p. 103-130 28 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access

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