School of Education

Focusing manner and posttraumatic growth

This new article from Professor Stephen Joseph and Alicia Zwiercan has been published in Person-Centred & Experiential Psychotherapies.


Recent scholarship in the person-centered experiential (PCE) approach has theorized how organismic valuing might be an important process factor in the development of posttraumatic growth. In a test of this prediction we investigated the association between Gendlin’s focusing and posttraumatic growth in 87 participants. All completed measures of focusing attitudes, posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth. The results showed that higher scores on focusing attitudes were significantly associated with lower scores on posttraumatic stress (r = −.39, p < .001), and higher scores on posttraumatic growth (lowest r = .32, p < .001), and that the associations with posttraumatic growth remained even with scores on posttraumatic stress partialled out (lowest r = .33, p < .001). Implications of these findings are discussed for therapeutic work with trauma survivors. Specifically, the results provide support that the use of Gendlin’s focusing and/or focusing evocative language may be effective in supporting those who suffer from severe and chronic trauma-related problems. These results provide sufficient support to warrant further clinical research using more sophisticated experimental approaches to test whether therapeutic work using focusing is able to promote posttraumatic growth.

Visit the publisher's website to view the full article.

Posted on Friday 5th October 2018

School of Education

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