Professor Robert Elliott


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), and Research methods in clinical psychology (3rd ed., with Chris Barker & Nancy Pistrang), as well as more than 150 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 Counseling and Psychotherapy (2001 – 2005).


Has expertise in:

    • 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

Prizes 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)


Authority in therapeutic interaction : a conversation analytic study
Smoliak Olga, MacMartin Clare, Hepburn Alexa, Le Couteur Amanda, Elliott Robert, Quinn-Nilas Christopher
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (2021)
Relational dialogue in emotion‐focused therapy
Elliott Robert, Macdonald James
Journal of Clinical Psychology Vol 77, pp. 414-428 (2021)
Essentials of Descriptive-Interpretive Qualitative Research : A Generic Approach
Elliott Robert, Timulak Ladislav
Essentials of Qualitative Research Essentials of Qualitative Research (2021)
Research on humanistic-experiential psychotherapies : updated review
Elliott Robert, Watson Jeanne C, Timulak Ladislav, Sharbanee Jason
Bergin and Garfield's Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change (2020) (2020)
Identifying and developing therapeutic principles for trauma focused work in person-centred and emotion focused therapies
Murphy David, Elliott Robert, Carrick Lorna
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research Vol 19, pp. 497-507 (2019)
Experiences of learning Emotion-Focused Therapy - a qualitative interview study
Capaldi Kay, Elliott Robert, Campbell Karen, Komarnicky Tina, Marston Ken, McQuillan Michelle, Quinn Christine, Thomson Ailsa
International Society for Emotion Focused Therapy Conference 2019 (2019)

More publications


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

• Person-centred/experiential counselling and psychotherapy

• Emotion-Focused Therapy

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)

• Development of a person-centred taxonomy of client presenting problems based on the Personal Questionnaire

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)
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
A Qualitative Outcome Study for Social Anxiety
Robinson, Anna (Principal Investigator) Rogers, Mr B (Co-investigator) Elliott, Robert (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2017

More projects


Graham Hills Building

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