Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Experiential Family Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_197-1



Experiential Family Therapy is a humanistic approach to treating a variety of presenting problems within families and couples. It values the “in the moment” experiences of clients and centers on authentic emotional expression. Experiential clinicians use their unique self-of-the-therapist with spontaneity and creativity to help clients experience in real time accurate self-expression (Baldwin and Satir 1987; Napier and Whitaker 1978). The emphasis of clinicians being authentically involved and to use their personhood indicates that there are many different approaches to experiential therapy.

Experiential therapy is described as humanistic based on the foundational assumptions that people possess the necessary resources for change and are naturally drawn toward positive growth. Further, experiential therapists believe that change occurs as people experience...


Experiential Family Therapy Authentic Emotional Expression Family Sculpting Congruent Communication Stance Selection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kelley Quirk
    • 1
  • Adam R. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Human Development and Family StudiesColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA