The story of intuition in marriage and family therapy

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The story of intuition in marriage and family therapy

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Clinical intuition has been a subject of interest in the field of marriage and family therapy (MFT) for decades. Authors have theorized how intuition might be useful in the practice of MFT. Before understanding the place of intuition in the field, we must first explore the concept of intuition in MFT. The purpose of this study was to more deeply understand the phenomenon of intuition in MFT clinical work. The specific research question addressed in this study was: How have marriage and family therapists (MFTs) experienced intuition in their clinical work? Using a qualitative transcendental phenomenological approach, the researcher gathered and analyzed MFTs' stories of intuition in order to begin to make meaning of this phenomenon. Twelve participants shared 26 stories of intuition in their clinical work. Findings provided insight into the lived experience of intuition in MFT. Intuition allowed therapists to shift their attention to new possibilities, thus forming and offering interventions for clients to make significant changes and achieve their goals. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. April 2014. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Catherine Solheim. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 98 pages, appendices A-B.

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Zaid, Samantha Joy. (2014). The story of intuition in marriage and family therapy. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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