The intersection of feminism and the narrative metaphor in the practice and profession of family therapy: A Delphi study

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marriage and Family Therapy


Kenneth V. Hardy


Feminism, Narrative metaphor, Family therapy, Marriage and family therapy

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


There is an increasing interest in the family therapy literature regarding the intersection of feminist and narrative approaches to therapy. This dissertation empirically examined the similarities and differences between these two approaches by utilizing the Delphi Method. Two panels, one consisting of influential leaders regarding feminist-informed family therapy and the other consisting of prominent figures regarding narrative therapy, were surveyed. Points of convergence and departure between the approaches were determined with regard to philosophical tenets, primary practices, the role of the therapist, and scholars associated with each of the theories. A broad view of the results revealed a high level of consensus regarding philosophical tenets for each theory and lower levels of consensus with respect to primary practices and role of the therapist for each of these approaches. These findings suggest that both feminist-informed and narrative therapies are approaches based more on world views than on specific and structured sets of techniques. Although this Delphi study revealed that there is overlap between these two approaches, the results indicate that feminist-informed and narrative therapies still largely remain distinct and separate.


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