Clinical Intuition: A Qualitative Study of Its Use and Experience Among Marriage and Family Therapists


Clinical intuition has been a topic of interest in the mental health literature for years. However, while literature on intuition
from various other helping professions exists, little has been researched or written about marriage and family therapists’
(MFTs’) experiences and views. In this qualitative phenomenological study we explored how MFTs view and experience intuition
in clinical work. Eight MFTs were interviewed and answered questions regarding their views and use of intuition in therapy.
We present findings through participants’ descriptions of intuition, its function in clinical work, and how it is experienced.
We found that these MFTs value and use intuition in therapy, and that it may be a unique source of relationally based information
and guidance. Implications for clinical practice and training are discussed, along with directions for future research.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Pages 1-16
  • DOI 10.1007/s10591-011-9161-7
  • Authors
    • Aaron J. Jeffrey, Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, Minnesota State University, Mankato, 107 Armstrong Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA
    • Linda Stone Fish, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA
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