Department of Family Therapy Dissertations and Applied Clinical Projects

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy


James Hibel

Committee Member

Ronald J Chenail

Committee Member

Patricia M. Cole


The relationship between the therapist and the client is an important consideration for most models of therapy, with all models of therapy emphasizing the importance of establishing a positive therapeutic relationship. Quantitative and qualitative studies have shown that the relationship between the therapist and the client is a predictor of positive outcomes. However, different models define the preferred therapeutic relationship differently. This study was a qualitative exploration of a decentered and influential position of the therapist in narrative therapy. A video of a one-session narrative therapy case conducted by Michael White was analyzed using conversation analysis to answer the following research question: How, if at all, can White be seen to take a decentered and influential position in narrative therapy? The findings of this study provide more knowledge about White’s decentered and influential stance in narrative therapy. It is expected that this knowledge could be useful for education and training purposes, as well as for the improvement of clinical practice.

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