The concept of encounter in psychotherapy and developmental psychology



The article discusses possibilities for application of the concept of encounter in two areas of practical developmental psychology — in the work with the aesthetic experience gained by people in the perception of artworks and in relation to mental health services for older people, for whom one of the most important activities is the recollection of their life. Authors take as basic the understanding of the encounter proposed by W. Schutz, who showed psychological tools to achieve it in psychotherapy, and R. May, who applied this concept in the psychology of creativity. The authors clarify psychotechnical tools to achieve basic aspects (openness, self-consciousness, responsibility, etc.) in relation to the work of psychologist with the aesthetic experience as a result of the perception of artworks, and recollections of the life in mature and advanced age. The importance of encounter with aesthetic experience is considered in the context of forming a system of means mastering our own emotions (L.S. Vygotsky). Authors stressed the importance of the encounter with recollections of the past for the growth of psychological new formations of mature ages.

General Information

Keywords: encounter, aesthetic experience, perception of artworks, recollections, openness, self-consciousness, responsibility, attention to feelings, "here and now" principle

Journal rubric: Workshop and Methods

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Ermolaeva M.V., Lubovsky D.V. The concept of encounter in psychotherapy and developmental psychology. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2015. Vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 105–116. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2015230308. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Veresov N.N. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya L.S. Vygotskogo: trudnaya rabota ponimaniya. NLO. 2007. № 85. Available at: URL: http: // 2007/85/be6.html (Accessed: 06.09.2015)
  2. Vygotsky L.S. Sobr. soch.: V 6 t. T. 3. Istoriya razvitiya vysshikh psikhicheskikh funktsii / Vygotsky L.S. Sobr. soch.: V 6 t. T. 3. Moscow: Pedagogika, 1983. Pp. 5—314.
  3. Ermolaeva M.V. Prakticheskaya psikhologiya starosti / Moscow: EKSMO-Press, 2002. 320 p.
  4. Ermolaeva M.V. Psikhologo-pedagogicheskoe soprovozhdenie pozhilogo cheloveka. Uchebnoe posobie / Moscow, NOU VPO Moskovskii psikhologo-sotsial'nyi uni­versitet, 2011. 464 p.
  5. Ermolaeva M.V., Lubovsky D.V. Osobennosti vnutrennei pozitsii studentov-psikholo­gov. Voprosy psikhologii. 2015. № 3. Pp. 58—65.
  6. Lubovsky D.V. Fenomenologiya i dinamika razvitiya vnutrennei pozitsii sovremennykh mladshikh shkol'nikov. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie 2014. № 2. Pp. 50—67. Available at: URL: 69255.shtml (Accessed: 13.09.2015).
  7. May R. Muzhestvo tvorit' / Moscow: Institut obshchegumanitarnykh issledovanii, 2012, 160 p.
  8. Psikhoterapevticheskaya entsiklopediya / Ed. B.D. Karvasarskii. 2-e dopolnennoe i pererabotannoe izdanie. Spb.: Piter, 2000. 752 p.
  9. Khukhlaeva O.V. "Tropinka k svoemu Ya: uroki psikhologii v nachal'noi shkole" / Moscow: Genezis , 2008. 304 p.
  10. Rogers C.R. The Necessary and Sufficient Conditions of Therapeutic Personality Change. Journal of Consulting Psychology. 1957. Vol. 21, № 1. Pp. 95—103.
  11. Rogers C.R. Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups / New York: Harper and Row, 1970. 124 р.
  12. Schutz W. Elements of Encounter / N.Y., Bantam. 1973.

Information About the Authors

Marina V. Ermolaeva, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the UNESCO Department “Cultural and historical psychology of childhood”, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Dmitry V. Lubovsky, PhD in Psychology, associate professor, Professor of the UNESCO Department “Cultural and Historical Psychology of Childhood”, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 2721
Previous month: 18
Current month: 17


Total: 1566
Previous month: 5
Current month: 9