Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Caroline Hamby

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Renee Staton

Lennis Echterling

Michele Kielty

Abstract

This integrative literature review explores the suitability of narrative therapy for children ages 7-12 coping with divorce and family transition. Charting the history of research on post-divorce children, the review discusses common negative and positive post-divorce outcomes for children in academic, financial, and socio-emotional domains. It links the fundamental objectives of narrative therapy to the corresponding needs of post-divorce children and families, namely emotional security, internal control, and personal agency. It posits that narrative therapy is a modality uniquely situated to address these concerns and amplify the often-ignored voices of children otherwise lost in marital chaos. The developmental considerations of the cohort are discussed with respect to cognitive flexibility, perspective taking, and storytelling ability. Relevant literature is considered, synthesizing a variety of individual, group, and family-oriented narrative interventions. Study design, techniques, and significant outcomes are discussed. Finally, key clinical recommendations are compiled for counselors wishing to implement narrative therapy with child clients facing family transition. They include information about the role of the counselor as non-expert, the typical stages of narrative therapy, and specific in-session interventions.

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