Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This study was undertaken to determine the efficacy of narrative therapy approaches with self-injurious clients. Self-injury is an issue gaining momentum, particularly among adolescent clients. Narrative therapy is a therapeutic technique that has gained popularity globally in the last several decades, due to its movement away from the expert mentality in mental health care. Both self-injury and narrative therapy are issues with limited research available. Fourteen clinicians trained in narrative therapy approaches were interviewed in a qualitative research design. The results of twelve of the interviews were utilized in the findings and two interviews were not included in the studies' findings due to the ineligibility to the participant sample. Questions were asked to clinicians about the methods of self-injury within their client population, the demographics of the self-injuring clients, benefits of the narrative therapy approach, and narrative therapy efficacy and general comments. Major findings of this study indicate that narrative therapy is a beneficial and efficacious approach to treatment with self-injurious clients. Narrative therapy's client centered, empowering, non-pathologizing stance suits a self-injuring client, who has often been the recipient of treatment modalities that treat the client as the problem.


iii, 57 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 52-53).