Personal construct psychotherapy and the cognitive therapies : different in theory but can they be differentiated in practice?
This article delineates differences between personal construct psychotherapy and rationalist cognitive therapy at a theoretical level and in the nature of the therapeutic relationship and presents an empirical investigation of these differences. Transcripts of sessions of the two forms of therapy were blindly differentiated by leading proponents of the therapies concerned. Significant differences between the therapies were demonstrated on the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Process Scale, the Hill Counselor Verbal Response Category System, the Toukmanian System of Levels of Client Processing, and the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory. Scores on these measures were also found to be differentially related to measures of tightness of construing and direction of interest in the two therapies. To exemplify differences in process between the two therapies, their approach to the resistant client is considered.