Synchronicity in the therapeutic setting: a survey of practitioners

Elizabeth C Roxburgh, Sophie Ridgway, Chris A Roe

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


Aims: In this study we intended to explore whether there are any differences between counsellors, psychologists, and psychotherapists in the reporting and interpretation of synchronicity experiences (SEs) in the therapeutic setting. SEs are defined as psychologically meaningful connections between inner events (such as a thought, vision or feeling) and one or more external events occurring simultaneously or at a future point in time. Design: An on-line survey link was emailed to a random sample of counsellors, psychologists, and psychotherapists drawn from membership lists of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, British Psychological Society, and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy. The survey was designed to investigate the following research questions: Do practitioners report SEs in the therapeutic setting? Are there any differences between types of practitioners in terms of explanations for SEs? Were SEs believed to be more likely to occur at certain points in therapy? Results: A total of 226 respondents completed the survey. One hundred respondents (44%) reported that they had experienced synchronicity in the therapeutic setting, of whom 55 were psychotherapists, 21 counsellors and 24 psychologists. The majority of respondents (67%) felt that SEs could be useful for therapy. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences between practitioner types in their interpretation of SEs but no differences in perception of when synchronicity events were likely to occur. Conclusion: Findings have important implications for how practitioners may respond to clients who report SEs and are discussed alongside suggestions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number1
Early online date15 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • meaningful coincidences
  • practitioners
  • survey
  • synchronicity
  • therapeutic setting


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