The essence of process-experiential: emotion-focused therapy

Robert Elliott, Leslie Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)
485 Downloads (Pure)


Process-Experiential/Emotion-Focused Therapy (PE-EFT; Elliott et al, 2004; Greenherg et al, 1993) is an empirically-supported, neo-humanistic approach that integrates and updates person-centered, Gestalt, and existential therapies. In this article, we first present what we see as PE-EFT's five essential features, namely neo-humanistic values, process-experiential emotion theory, person-centered hut process-guiding relational stance, therapist exploratory response style, and marker-guided task strategy. Next, we summarize six treatment principles that guide therapists in carrying out this therapy: achieving empathic attunement, fostering an empathic, caring therapeutic bond, facilitating task collaboration, helping the client process experience appropriately to the task, supporting completion of key client tasks, and fostering client development and empowerment. In general, PE-EFT is an approach that seeks to help clients transform contradictions and impasses into wellsprings for growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • process-experiential
  • emotion-focused therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'The essence of process-experiential: emotion-focused therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 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

Cite this