Interpersonal perceptions and metaperceptions: psychotherapeutic practice in the inter-experiential realm

Mick Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
246 Downloads (Pure)


This article aims to systematize and develop humanistic practice by considering the implications of adopting an experiential stance to working within the "interexperiential" realm: the interface between one person's experiences and those of another. Psychological theory and research are used to develop an understanding of how people perceive, and misperceive, others' experiences, and implications for practice are discussed, particularly the need to encourage clients to test out their assumptions about others' experiences and to communicate more transparently their own. The article then focuses on the issue of "metaperceptions"- how one person perceives another person as perceiving him or her and his or her experiences-and again argues that people often make significant errors in their judgments. Implications for practice are discussed, with a particular emphasis on using appropriate self-disclosure to deliberately challenge clients' metaperceptual errors. In the conclusion, the proposed interexperiential practices are presented as specific process-experiential tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Humanistic Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • experiential psychotherapy
  • phenomenological psychology
  • interpersonal perception
  • metaperception
  • interpersonal phenomenology
  • educational studies

Cite this