Peter F. Schmid


Articles Psychotherapy
Articles - psychothérapie
Artículos Psicoterapia

Back to the client:
A phenomenological approach to the process of understanding and diagnosis

Zurück zum Klienten:
Ein phänomenologischer Ansatz zum Prozess des Verstehens und der Diagnose (Zusammenfassung)
Volviendo al consultante:
Un acercamiento fenomenológico al proceso de la comprensión y el diagnóstico (

Revenons aux clients:
Une approche phénoménologique du processus de compréhension et du diagnostic



Keynote Presenters’ Closing Panel Session

Un dernier mot
"Est-ce que le diagnostic requiert une différenciation des processus ? Pouvons-nous intégrer les 5 couleurs ?"


Revised version of a keynote lecture given at the 6th PCE-Conference, Egmond aan Zee, July 9, 2003.

In rejecting intervention-centered psychotherapy Rogers advanced the conception that ‘the essential conditions of psychotherapy exist in a single configuration, even though the client may use them very differently’. Does this conviction actually imply a refusal to differentiate or diagnose? From a dialogical point of view therapists and clients are not only seen as being in relationships; as persons they are relationships, which makes them different in each therapeutic contact. Person-centered therapy, conceptualized as personal encounter, implies not only co-experiencing but also co-reflecting on experiences in the relationship. This epistemological paradigm change of PCT results in a fundamental counter-position to traditional diagnosis and classification: It is the client who defines the meaning of his/her experiencing and thus ‘in-forms’ the therapist who is challenged to open up and risk the co-creation of becoming a unique relationship. The paper develops criteria for a genuinely person-centered conceptualization of different processes of personality development.

Personalization, alienation, encounter, acknowledgment, knowledge, process-specificity, disorder-specificity, diagnosis.

Personalisation, alienation, rencontre, reconnaissance, connaissance, processus, dérangement, diagnostic.

Rogers entwickelte das Konzept, dass “die wesentlichen Bedingungen für Psychotherapie in einer einzigen Konfiguration bestehen, auch wenn der Klient davon sehr unterschiedlich Gebrauch macht“. Beinhaltet diese Überzeugung tatsächlich die Ablehnung von Differenzierung und Diagnose? Aus dialogischer Sicht haben Therapeuten und Klienten nicht nur eine Beziehung, sie sind Beziehungen und damit sind sie in jeder therapeutischen Beziehung anders. Wird Personzentrierte Psychotherapie als personale Begegnung verstanden, so bedeutet das nicht nur gemeinsam gestaltetes Erleben, sondern auch gemeinsam gestaltetes Reflektieren der Beziehungserfahrungen. Dieser erkenntnistheoretische Paradigmenwechsel der Personzentrierten Therapie führt zu einer grundsätzlichen Gegenposition zu traditioneller Diagnose und Klassifizierung: Der Klient bzw. die Klientin ist es, der/die Bedeutung seines/ihres Erlebens bestimmt und so den Therapeuten bzw. die Therapeutin „in-formiert“, der/die herausgefordert ist, sich zu öffnen und die gemeinsam gestaltete Entwicklung einer einzigartigen Beziehung zu riskieren – es zu riskieren, diese Beziehung zu werden. Der Artikel entwickelt Kriterien für eine genuin personzentrierte Konzeption verschiedener Prozessverläufe der Persönlichkeitsentwicklung.

Al rechazar la psicoterapia centrada en la intervención, Rogers propuso la concepción que “las condiciones esenciales de la psicoterapia existen en una configuración única, aunque el consultante tal vez las use de un modo muy diferente”. ¿Implica realmente esta convicción una negación a diferenciar o a diagnosticar? Desde un punto de vista dialógico los terapeutas y los consultantes no son sólo vistos como estando en relaciones; como personas ellos son relaciones, lo cual los hace diferentes en cada contacto terapéutico. La terapia centrada en la persona, conceptualizada como encuentro personal implica no solo co-vivenciar sino también co-reflejar sobre las experiencias en la relación.
Este cambio de paradigma de la terapia centrada en la persona implica una contraposición fundamental al diagnóstico y a la clasificación tradicional: es el consultante quien define el significado de su vivenciar y por lo tanto “in-forma” al terapeuta el cual se ve desafiado a abrirse y arriesgar la co-creación del proceso de convertirse en una relación única. El artículo desarrolla criterios para una conceptualización genuinamente centrada en la persona de diferentes procesos de desarrollo de la personalidad.



As always I appreciated your contributions in Holland immensly.
Brian Thorne

Influences at Egmond (Peter Schmid's especially) crystallized for me the challenge to develop the interpersonal/intersubjective perspective in person-centered theory.
Ivan Ellingham, pcintl listserv

Dave Mearns and particulary Peter Schmid got the longest warmest applause from the whole groups attending the keynotes. Their keynotes were also better attended. Their presentations were generous, inclusive and firm.
Pete Sanders, pcintl listserv

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your articles in the inaugural edition of PCEP journal on 'Knowledge and Acknowledgement' and on ''Back to the Client: a Phenomenonological ...' in the spring 2004 edition. Also I have been re-reading your chapter 'Face to Face. ....' in the book on UPR ('Rogers' Therapeutic Conditions' series).
I have recently found your writing very inspiring and clarifying and it has helped me enormously in my own thinking and reflecting on my practice. So I wanted to thank for your contributions to that journal and want to read some of your other writings. Your body of work feels very developed and represents for me a mature and vital contribution to the person-centred literature.
Paul McGahey, Brighton, England

We liked your chapter very much indeed, we thought it was excellent and really speaks to the vision of a book on psychopathology and the pc approach, such a thoughtful response to the critics of the pc approach on the one hand and encouragement to the pc audience to develop their own research on the other, absolutely fantastic and just what we were hoping for, thank you.
Stephen Joseph and Richard Worsley

Sachse's plenary was followed the next day by Peter Schmid's, who gave a ringing defense of CCT, and whose address was greeted by a standing ovation from most of the audience.
Art Bohart, San Francisco

Thank you so much for your contribution in Egmond. I think it was urgently needed.
Lisbeth Sommerbeck, Denmark

Habe mit großem Interesse und großer Freude deinen Hauptvortrag von Egmond aan Zee gelesen - ja, so wie du es schreibst ist es, bin stolz, Personzentrierte Psychotherapeutin zu sein!
Anita Hufnagl, Wien

Ich war über die Grundsätzlichkeit und Systematik Ihrer phänomenologischen Darstellungen sehr angetan. Insbesondere Ihre fast schon unnachgiebige Art, Rogers zu würdigen, hat mich aufgebaut.
Jürg Hartmann, Wetter-Oberndorf, D


It is orthopractice that always challenges orthodoxy

By Martin van Kalmthout

Peter Schmid has become one of the leading person-centered therapists of the moment. A long time ago, from Carl Rogers himself he received the task to delve into the theoretical and philosophical foundations of the person-centered approach and so he did.

He has been writing so many articles and books that one wonders if anybody has read them all. Most of his books and articles have been written originally in German, but during the last years many of them have been translated into English.

Peter has got an enormous amount of energy which might explain how it is possible that this one person has been doing all the work he does.

This pertains not only to the writing, but also to the organizational work and training programmes he is involved in.

The importance of Peter's work, especially at this point of development of the person-centered approach, lies in his ability to explicate the essence of person-centered therapy.

In this moment we seem to have been arrived at a crucial cross-road, we need to know exactly who we are and who we are not, so that we can enter a new phase of our evolution.

As a philosopher and theologian, Peter is better than anybody else able to do this type of work. And we can be glad he is doing it because he brings to our approach an enormous amount of knowledge from the western philosophical and Christian tradition, which is of great help to us to further develop our apporoach into the 21st century.

PCE Daily Mirror, July 9, 2003 (6th PCE Conference, Egmond aan Zee), p.3


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6th PCE Conference
6th World Conference for Person-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy and Counseling (formerly ICCCEP)

'Process Differentiation and Person-Centeredness'
Egmont aan Zee
hosted by the Dutch Association (VCgP)
Organization: Roelf J. Takens
Keynote lectures: Leslie Greenberg, Dave Mearns, Rainer Sachse, Peter F. Schmid, Hans Swildens

more info | Website PCE Conference 2003

Info on presentations by P. F. Schmid

3rd General Assembly of WAPCEPC