Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Heath, Anthony

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Deception; Psychotherapy--Moral and ethical aspects; Paradox--Therapeutic use


Some therapists, Christians in particular,express a reluctance to use therapeutic paradox in their practices due to its seemingly deceptive nature. This study obtained brief verbal responses from members of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy who use paradox in their practices. They responded with ways that they have found to minimize deception in therapeutic paradox. The responses were categorized, and their relationship with the respondents' religious affiliation and self-perceived degree of religiosity were examined. Being Christian and being highly religious appeared to be strongly related to a preference to take some specific action to minimize deception at the time of the paradoxical intervention, as opposed to those who first examine their own thoughts and motives and then trust that their actions will not lead to deception. Specific actions seemed to be more implicit indications to clients that the intervention was different from normal therapeutic interaction. However, therapists who considered themselves highly religious seemed to be more explicit with clients.


Bibliography: pages [42]-45.


61 pages




Northern Illinois University

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