Professor Robert Elliott

Emeritus Professor



Personal statement

I trained in the US as a Clinical Psychologist and am licensed as a Psychologist in the State of Ohio.  I have expertise in Person-Centred-Experiential psychotherapy and counselling in general and specifically in Emotion-Focused Therapy, of which I am one of the originators.  I am a psychotherapy research methodologist with experience in a wide variety of research methods.  I received my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UCLA in 1978. I taught at the University of Toledo 1978-2006, where I am now Professor Emeritus of Psychology. I have also held visiting faculty positions as Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), York University (Canada), University of Sheffield (UK), and La Trobe University (Australia). I served as President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (2000-2001) and as co-editor of the journal Psychotherapy Research (1994-1998). I co-authored Facilitating emotional change (1993, with Leslie Greenberg and Laura Rice), Learning process-experiential psychotherapy (2004, with Jeanne Watson, Rhonda Goldman, and Leslie Greenberg), Research methods in clinical psychology (3rd ed., with Chris Barker & Nancy Pistrang), Emotion-Focused Counselling in Action (2021, with Leslie Greenberg), and Elements of Descriptive-Interpretive Qualitative Research (2021, with Ladislav Timulak), as well as more than 170 journal articles or book chapters. I am a Fellow in the Divisions of Psychotherapy, Clinical Psychology, and Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association. In 2008 I received the Carl Rogers Award for Contributions to Humanistic Psychology form the American Psychological Association, as well as the Distinguished Career Award of the Society for Psychotherapy Research. I also served as co-editor of the journal, Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies (2001 – 2005).

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Area of Expertise

• Person-Centred-Experiential psychotherapy and counselling

• Emotion-Focused Therapy

• Research methods in applied psychology

• Psychotherapy research, including process and outcome research

• Single case research

• Measure development

• Meta-analysis and qualitative meta-synthesis

Prize And Awards

Carl Rogers Award (for contributions to humanistic psychology), Division of Humanistic Psychology, American Psychological Association
Distinguished Career Award, Society for Psychotherapy Research,

More prizes and awards


Bachelor of Arts, 1st, University of California, Santa Cruz (1972)
Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles (1978)
Licensed Psychologist, State of Ohio, LPsych (Ohio) (1979 - present)
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Session Reactions Scale-3 : initial psychometric evidence
Řiháček Tomáš, Elliott Robert, Owen Jesse, Ladmanová Michaela, Coleman Jeremy J, Bugatti Matteo
Psychotherapy Research Vol 34, pp. 434-448 (2024)
Developing an emotion-focused therapy model for fear of cancer recurrence : a case‐level task analysis
Almeida Susana N, Elliott Robert, Silva Eunice R, Sales Célia M D
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Vol 24, pp. 180-189 (2024)
Extending empathy to physical symptoms
Nicolaou Thalia, Elliott Robert, Robinson Anna
Person-Centred and Experiential Psychotherapies Vol 23, pp. 20-38 (2024)
Negative treatment of self in socially anxious clients
Capaldi Kay, Elliott Robert
Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapies Vol 23, pp. 101-121 (2024)
Empathic reflection
Elliott Robert, Bohart Art, Larson Dale, Muntigl Peter, Smoliak Olga
Psychotherapy Skills and Methods That Work (2023) (2023)
Empathic reflections by themselves are not effective : meta-analysis and qualitative synthesis
Elliott Robert, Bohart Arthur, Larson Dale, Muntigl Peter, Smoliak Olga
Psychotherapy Research Vol 33, pp. 957-973 (2023)

More publications

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• Counselling and psychotherapy research methods (PG Diploma and MSc levels)

• Person-centred/experiential counselling and psychotherapy

• Emotion-Focused Therapy

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Research Interests

In general, my main research focus is on how clients change in humanistic-experiential psychotherapies, especially Person-Centred and Emotion-Focused therapies for social anxiety.  By necessity, this encompasses studying the outcome of these therapies, as well as clients' experiences of what they found helpful or unhelpful.  I believe that a range of research methods are appropriate for studying change processes, including quantitative and qualitative, group designs and single case studies, measure development research, meta-analyses and meta-syntheses, and even, where appropriate, randomised clinical trials.

More specifically, my current research focuses on the process and outcome of Emotion-Focused Therapy with Social Anxiety.  I am also involved the following:

• Measure development research to support research on humanistic-experiential psychotherapies (eg, individualised outcome assessment; assessment of person-centred-experiential therapist competence)

• Meta-analytic research on the effectiveness of humanistic-experiential psychotherapies across a variety of client populations (eg, depression, anxiety, psychosis)

Professional Activities

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Conference
Dutch Client-centred Psychotherapy Society
Keynote/plenary speaker
Event to be assigned
Keynote/plenary speaker

More professional activities


Resolving Self-Attack in EFT-SA - A Mixed Methods Task Analytic Validation Study
Capaldi, Kay (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Principal Investigator) Casson, Megan (Post Grad Student) Cleary, Michael (Post Grad Student) Leonard, Avril (Post Grad Student) McGeever, Koren (Post Grad Student) Nikolozaki, Stavroula (Post Grad Student) Orkisz, Katy (Post Grad Student)
Empowering Emotion-Focused Therapy practice in Europe (Erasmus +)
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2023
An Exploration of Self-Attack Patterns of Change in EFT-SA - A Discourse Analytical Study
Capaldi, Kay (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Principal Investigator) Bell, Stuart (Post Grad Student) Hamilton, Duncan (Post Grad Student) Linkute, Evelina (Post Grad Student) Malik, Faseehah (Post Grad Student) Murray, Alison (Post Grad Student) Welsh, Megan (Post Grad Student)
25-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
Evaluating the Self-Relationship Questionnaire in EFT-SA - A Psychometric Study
Capaldi, Kay (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Principal Investigator) Allen, Karen (Post Grad Student) Kesoglou, Elvira (Post Grad Student) Nind, Louise (Post Grad Student) Pauzaite, Urte (Post Grad Student) Walterson, Dominique (Post Grad Student)
26-Jan-2018 - 26-Jan-2019
A Systematic Review of Humanistic-Experiential Psychotherapies for People with Chronic Medical Conditions
Capaldi, Kay (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Principal Investigator) Cionca, Teodora (Post Grad Student) Hendron, Rachel (Post Grad Student) MacPhee, Alison (Post Grad Student)
27-Jan-2017 - 27-Jan-2018
Experiences of Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy: A Qualitative Interview Study
Capaldi, Kay (Principal Investigator) Elliott, Robert (Principal Investigator) Campbell, Karen (Post Grad Student) Komarnicky, Tina (Post Grad Student) Marston, Ken (Post Grad Student) McQuillan, Michelle (Post Grad Student) Quinn, Christine (Post Grad Student) Thomson, Ailsa (Post Grad Student)
27-Jan-2017 - 27-Jan-2018

More projects

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Professor Robert Elliott
Emeritus Professor

Tel: Unlisted