Agency and Transcendence: The Experience of Therapeutic Change

Fred J. Hanna, Francesca Giordano, Paula Dupuy, Kaisa Puhakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Scopus citations


    Psychotherapeutic change lies at the heart of effective therapy yet little is known about it. In this study, twenty major or significant experiences of change were studied which occurred both in and out of therapy. A phenomenological research design was utilized in an attempt to identify the essential structure of these experiences. Findings indicated several initiating modes that led to the changes, each of which culminated in the act of transcendence or moving beyond contextual limitations. Transcendence is explored in terms of its component aspects of the overarching insight and an array of subtle yet powerful psychological acts. Suggestions are made for psychotherapy in terms of the enhancement of agency, empowerment, and liberation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)139-160
    Number of pages22
    JournalThe Humanistic Psychologist
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1 1995

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Applied Psychology


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