Corrective experiences are events that challenge one's fear or expectations and lead to new outcomes. They are often facilitated by a skilled therapist as a breakthrough in the client's efforts to engage in new behaviors, adopt more healthy ways of relating to others, develop a more positive view of self, or feel previously unacceptable feelings.

As such, corrective experiences play a central role in transformative processes fostered in different forms of psychotherapy. Yet despite their playing such a crucial role in therapy, there has been scant research and theoretical attention devoted to the nature of corrective experiences, what therapeutic mechanisms trigger them, or their consequences for positive outcomes.

Veteran psychotherapy scholars Louis Castonguay and Clara Hill team up again for this comprehensive look at corrective experiences across the main psychotherapeutic approaches. Presented in two parts, this edited volume brings together leading scholar-practitioners to map out the theoretical bases of corrective experiences (Part I) and new research on transformative events across various client perspectives, different psychotherapeutic schools, and treatments for specific clinical problems, such as generalized anxiety disorder and anorexia nervosa (Part II).

Written for the therapist as well as the clinical researcher, Transformation in Psychotherapy provides conceptually sophisticated and clinically rich perspectives of the process of change that will appeal to scholars and graduate students specializing in psychotherapy practice and research.

Table of Contents



  1. Corrective Experiences in Psychotherapy: An Introduction
    Louis G. Castonguay and Clara E. Hill

I. Theoretical Perspectives on Corrective Experiences

  1. The Corrective Experience: A Core Principle for Therapeutic Change
    Marvin R. Goldfried
  2. Corrective Emotional Experiences From a Psychodynamic Perspective
    Brian A. Sharpless and Jacques P. Barber
  3. The Corrective Emotional Experience: A Relational Perspective and Critique
    Christopher Christian, Jeremy D. Safran, and J. Christopher Muran
  4. A Cognitive Behavioral Perspective on Corrective Experiences
    Adele M. Hayes, J. Gayle Beck, and Carly Yasinski
  5. Corrective Experience From a Humanistic–Experiential Perspective
    Leslie S. Greenberg and Robert Elliott
  6. Corrective (Emotional) Experience in Person-Centered Therapy: Carl Rogers and Gloria Redux
    Barry A. Farber, Arthur C. Bohart, and William B. Stiles
  7. An Expectancy-Based Approach to Facilitating Corrective Experiences in Psychotherapy
    Michael J. Constantino and Henny A. Westra
  8. Corrective Experiences: What Can We Learn From Different Models and Research in Basic Psychology?
    Franz Caspar and Thomas Berger

II. Empirical Investigations of Corrective Experiences

  1. Clients' Perspectives on Corrective Experiences in Psychotherapy
    Laurie Heatherington, Michael J. Constantino, Myrna L. Friedlander, Lynne E. Angus, and Stanley B. Messer
  2. Corrective Relational Experiences: Client Perspectives
    Sarah Knox, Shirley A. Hess, Clara E. Hill, Alan W. Burkard, and Rachel E. Crook-Lyon
  3. Relational Events in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Three Clients With Anorexia Nervosa: What Is Corrective?
    Margit I. Berman, Clara E. Hill, Jingqing Liu, John Jackson, Wonjin Sim, and Patricia Spangler
  4. Corrective Experiences in Cognitive Behavioral and Interpersonal–Emotional Processing Therapies: A Qualitative Analysis of a Single Case
    Louis G. Castonguay, Dana L. Nelson, James F. Boswell, Samuel S. Nordberg, Andrew A. McAleavey, Michelle G. Newman, and Thomas D. Borkovec
  5. Varieties of Corrective Experiencing in Context: A Study of Contrasts
    Timothy Anderson, Benjamin M. Ogles, Bernadette D. Heckman, and Peter MacFarlane
  6. The Stream of Corrective Experiences in Action: Big Bang and Constant Dripping
    Martin Grosse Holtforth, and Christoph Flückiger
  7. Corrective Relational Experiences in Supervision
    Nicholas Ladany, Arpana G. Inman, Clara E. Hill, Sarah Knox, Rachel E. Crook-Lyon, Barbara J. Thompson, Alan W. Burkard, Shirley A. Hess, Elizabeth Nutt Williams, and Jessica A. Walker

III. Conclusions

  1. Corrective Experiences in Psychotherapy: Definitions, Processes, Consequences, and Research Directions
    Clara E. Hill, Louis G. Castonguay, Barry A. Farber, Sarah Knox, William B. Stiles, Timothy Anderson, Lynne E. Angus, Jacques P. Barber, J. Gayle Beck, Arthur C. Bohart, Franz Caspar, Michael J. Constantino, Robert Elliott, Myrna L. Friedlander, Marvin R. Goldfried, Leslie S. Greenberg, Martin Grosse Holtforth, Adele M. Hayes, Jeffrey A. Hayes, Laurie Heatherington, Nicholas Ladany, Kenneth N. Levy, Stanley B. Messer, J. Christopher Muran, Michelle G. Newman, Jeremy D. Safran, and Brian A. Sharpless


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Louis G. Castonguay, PhD, completed his doctorate in clinical psychology at State University of New York–Stony Brook; a clinical internship at University of California, Berkeley; and a postdoctorate at Stanford University. He is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn State University.

With more than 120 publications (including four coedited books), his scholarly work and research focus on different aspects of the process of change and training, especially within the context of psychotherapy integration. He is also involved in the investigation of the efficacy of new integrative treatments for generalized anxiety disorder and depression, and the development of practice research networks aimed at facilitating the collaboration between clinicians and researchers.

He has received several awards, including the Early Career Contribution Award from the Society of Psychotherapy Research and the David Shakow Award from APA's Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology). He has also received four recognitions from the APA Division 29 (Division of Psychotherapy): the Jack D. Krasner Memorial Award, the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Mentoring, the Distinguished Research Publications Award, and the Distinguished Psychologist Award for his lifetime contributions to the field of psychotherapy.

He also served as president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research and the International Society for Psychotherapy Research.

Clara E. Hill, PhD, completed her doctorate in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University and a clinical internship at the University of Florida. She is currently a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

With more than 250 publications (including 10 books), her scholarly work and research focus on psychotherapy process, therapist interventions, therapist training, dream work, and qualitative research methods.

She has received several awards, including the Leona Tyler Award from APA Division 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology), the Distinguished Psychologist Award from APA Division 29 (Psychotherapy), the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award from the Section of Counseling and Psychotherapy Process and Outcome Research of the Society for Counseling Psychology, and the Distinguished Research Career Award, Society for Psychotherapy Research.

She served as editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy Research, and also served as the president of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research and the International Society for Psychotherapy Research.