Another way to think about psychological change: experiential vs. incremental

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The traditional pre-post treatment difference reflects an incremental notion of change, where a quantity of some psychological function is added to (or subtracted from) a pretreatment quantity. This study presents a complementary, experiential notion of change. Rather than a difference, change is a feeling or experience of having changed, a feeling that one is different than before. Based on a post-treatment interview the Change after Psychotherapy (CHAP) is a method to quantify/rate such ‘differentness’ in terms of how extensively or radically the patient feels having changed. A pre-post quasi-experimental study (N = 49) comparing the CHAP with ratings on the Global Assessment of Functioning, the Karolinska Psychodynamic Profile and the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale-Self-Affective is reported. The results showed the CHAP to be a reliable, valid and sensitive way to assess an experiential kind of CHAP.


  • Rolf Sandell
  • Alexander Wilczek
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Applied Psychology


  • Change measurement, experiential change, gain scores, pre-post differences, retrospective assessment, ‘direct’ measurement
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-251
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016 Jul 2
Publication categoryResearch