Marjorie H. Klein, Philippa L. Mathieu, Eugene T. Gendlin, and Donald J. Kiesler
Wisconsin Psychiatric Institute, Madison, Wisconsin, 1969
Copyright 1970 by the Regents of the University of Wisconsin.
The Dimension of Experiencing has been elaborated in the theoretical work of
Eugene Gendlin. It refers to the quality of an individual’s experiencing of the
self as revealed in verbal communications; it ranges from impersonal superficial, or abstract-intellectual content at low levels, progresses through
intermediate stages where bodily feelings and experiences are revealed in fuller
descriptive detail, to more advances stages where feelings are purposefully
explored and emergent levels of fresh experiencing serve as referents for
problem resolution and understanding. Its association with independent
evaluations of therapeutic success is established in a number of studies with
different patient populations, including patients with neurotic and psychotic
disorders. There is a consistent positive relationship between successful
therapeutic outcome and experiencing level manifested by a patient throughout a
series of therapy sessions. More complex findings suggest that different trends
and patterns of experiencing may occur in different diagnostic groups.
Studies of the Client-centered framework provided much of the initial context
for the development of the concept as well as for the development of methods for
assessing experiencing directly from ongoing therapy sessions. This has included
the development of the rating method as a means of insuring standardized,
reproducible ratings for process research as elaborated in this manual. The
scope and applications of the concept and rating scale, however, are not limited
to the therapy context, for it should be important for all settings where change
in an individuals’ level of expressiveness, self-awareness, and
self-understanding is a goal.
Experiencing is sensitive to shifts in patient involvement, even within a single
interview session, making it useful for microscopic process studies, as well as
studies of change across a series of treatment sessions. It might also reflect
special moments or phases of therapy when work was especially productive.
Averaging discrete ratings over therapy as a whole or in parts yields a gross
estimate of the quality of the patient’s work, making the scale suitable for
comparing different patient groups or therapy techniques.
The training techniques for the Experiencing Scale have been designed so that
nonprofessional people can serve as raters. In addition, the training procedure
described in this Manual has been standardized so that ratings can be replicated
with different judges and comparable research can be carried out in different
The Experiencing Scale Manual consists of three volumes. Volumes I and II
consist of printed material. Volume I reviews the theoretical anchorage of the
concept and method , outlines its basic assumptions, and summarizes research
employing the method. The methods described evolved from our experience in
training of clinically naïve college students as raters. Efforts have been made
to anchor the EXP ratings to manifest content in order to fee the ratings as
much as possible from confounding factors such as patient’s diagnosis, the
patient’s specific complaint, personality, style, rate and tone of speech,
immediate affective state, or specific topic. We have also tried to assure the
ratings are independent of the therapist’s remarks, technique, or orientation.
Even more important, the training procedure has been standardized so that
ratings can be replicated with different judges and comparable research can be
carried out in different settings.
The second section of Volume I of the Manual considers the present version of
the Scale including aspects of methodology and procedural application. Last
comes the training manual, including the Scale itself and an overview the
training sessions. Training involves raters’ listening to seven hours of audio
recordings of therapy material (Volume III) or reading transcripts of these
sessions (Volume II). Volume I ends with Expert Ratings and Justifications for
the ratings of these practice sessions in order to provide feedback to raters.
This is followed by two additional hours of audio material which are rated in
order to provide final information on rater reliability.
The package contains two manuals and ten CDs.
Product Code: FB-350