Narrative therapy (NT) has been utilized by many clinicians and found to be effective as an intervention with clients facing a wide range of issues. Focusing on one’s narrative has been given attention in many academic disciplines (e.g., social sciences, humanities and healthcare) and especially among popular written media and academic journals. Despite this attention and the various studies on its efficacy, there is a lack of research on client and non-client perceptions of this therapy. This ethnographic study’s purpose was to compare the perceived effectiveness of the NT between those who had previously participated in narrative therapy and those who had not. Additionally, this study took a comparative look at those participants who had a previous trauma experience(s) and those who had not, and the impact on their perceptions of NT. It was hypothesized that given its popularity in academic circles, all participants would rate narrative therapy positively, but those who had previously participated in NT would have more favorable perceptions and see this therapy approach as more effective in treating PTSD and other trauma-related symptoms. These perceptions were measured using two alternative versions of a self-created pilot survey. Participants were also given the Life Events Checklist survey to measure whether they had experienced a traumatic event(s). Finally, it was hypothesized that those with a trauma experience(s) would rate narrative therapy more favorably. The surveys were administered to 256 EKU students enrolled in introductory psychology courses. The findings revealed that there was no significant correlation between the perception of narrative therapy and the amount of trauma experienced or the participation in narrative therapy. This study did, however, support the hypothesis that all participants would rate narrative therapy positively.

Keywords and Phrases: honors thesis, undergraduate research, narrative therapy, trauma, perceived effectiveness

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2020


Dr. Theresa Botts

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level


IRB Approval Number (if applicable)