Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Scale (PCEPS): development and reliability of an adherence/competence measure for person-centred and experiential psychotherapies

Elizabeth Freire, Robert Elliott, Graham Westwell

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Aims: This study aimed to assess the reliability of the Person Centred and Experiential Psychotherapy Scale (PCEPS), a new adherence/competence measure of person-centred and experiential psychotherapies. The PCEPS consists of 15 items with two subscales: Person Centred Process, and Experiential Process. Method: One-hundred twenty audio-recorded segments of therapy sessions were rated independently by two teams of three raters using the PCEPS. Half of the segments were 10 min long and the other half were 15 min long. Six therapists were experienced therapists and four were counsellors in training. Seven of the therapists identified their work as 'person-centred’, and three identifed their work as 'process-experiential'. Three raters were qualified and experienced person- centred therapists and three raters were person-centred counselling trainees in their first year of training. Results: Interrater reliabilities were good (alpha: .68 - .86), especially when ratings were averaged across items (alpha: .87); interitem reliabilities were quite high (alpha: .98). Exploratory factor analyses revealed a 12-item facilitative relationship factor that cuts across Person-centred and Experiential subscales (alpha: .98), and a nonfacilitative directiveness factor (3 items, alpha: .89). Conclusions/Implications: The PCEPS has potential for use in RCT research as well as in counselling training and supervision, but will require further testing and validation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-226
Number of pages7
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2014


  • adherence/competence
  • person-centred therapy
  • experiential therapy
  • measure development

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