Robert Stephen Busch

Contextualising a Problematic Relationship between Narrative Therapy and Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Evaluation in Psychology

by Robert Stephen Busch
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

This thesis problematises a conflict between two discourses: narrative therapy and evidence-based psychotherapy evaluation in psychology. To answer the research question of how narrative therapy can be evaluated, I contextualise both discourses by historically situating them in and through a genealogical examination. Narrative therapy is a postmodern therapy that draws from a diverse history of knowledge involving a range of intepretativist theoretical influences that are resistances to positivist social science. In contrast, evidence-based practice in psychology, the latest model of evidence-based psychotherapy evaluation, is modelled from evidence-based medicine. Evidence-based practice is understood as an improved evaluation model from the empirically-supported treatment movement, and operates within a positivist philosophy that privileges objective methodology over interpretative research approaches.