Anxiety difficulties are an increasingly important focus for person-centered/experiential (PCE) psychotherapies. I begin by reviewing person-centered, focusing-oriented, and emotion-focused therapy (EFT) theories of anxiety. Next, I summarize a meta-analysis of 19 outcome studies of PCE therapies for adults with anxiety, most commonly supportive or person-centered therapies (PCT) carried out by cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) researchers. The results indicate large pre-post change but a clear inferiority to CBT. I then summarize promising early results from an ongoing study of PCT and EFT for social anxiety, which show large amounts of pre-post change for both forms of PCE therapy but substantially more change for clients in the EFT condition. I conclude with a discussion of the implications for PCE therapy practice, including the value of process differentiation and the possibility of developing more effective PCE approaches for anxiety.
- person-centred-experiential therapy
- outcome research
- emotion-focused therapy
- person-centered therapies