The aim of this research was to identify facilitative therapeutic principles in person-centred and emotion-focused therapy for working with traumatised clients in the early stages of therapy. Four cases were selected from the Strathclyde Experiential Therapy for Social Anxiety archive: one good and one poor outcome case from each therapeutic approach. Outcomes were considered good and poor based on quantitative outcome measures. Each case met DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria for both PTSD and social anxiety. We developed a new method for the identification of therapeutic principles that offers an alternative to current approaches to competency identification. Our method uses a qualitative, bottom-up inductive process analysis. The first three sessions from each case were transcribed and independently analysed by two researchers (one blinded to the outcomes); the third researcher acted as consultant. The transcripts were analysed by focusing on session episode structure and treatment principles. Four trauma-focused therapist principles were identified: 1) Support early relationship building/alliance formation; 2) Facilitate client identification and recognition of past events as trauma experiences; 3) Facilitate work on traumatic sources of current experiential and interpersonal difficulties; 4) Offer self-agency focused empathy. We conclude that our approach identifies and provides a new method for establishing person-centred-experiential therapy principles for early trauma-focused work. Further research is recommended, and limitations are discussed.
Murphy, D., Elliott, R., & Carrick, L. (2019). Identifying and developing therapeutic principles for trauma?focused work in person?centred and emotion?focused therapies. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, 19(4), 497-507. https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12235