The Idiographic Voice in a Nomothetic World: Why Client Feedback Is Essential in Our Professional Knowledge

  • Terje TildenEmail author
Part of the European Family Therapy Association Series book series (EFTAS)


Governmental requirements of making use of evidence-based treatments on one side, and the family therapy field’s pluralism on knowledge sources on the other, may create a dilemma for the systemic clinician. This dilemma has also an epistemological relevance on research within the systemic field, addressing which research questions are relevant and needed, as well as applying the appropriate research methodology suited to answer these questions. This dilemma is in this chapter viewed in the light of two domains of knowledge, idiographic and nomothetic, that again are discussed from two perspectives: the sources of knowledge defined in evidence-based practice, combined with three levels of evidence. Central in this discussion is the objective of user involvement by applying systematic feedback that is suggested as a means to integrate the nomothetic and idiographic levels of knowledge. Further, it is also discussed how user involvement may work constructively to the dilemma between professional autonomy and increased governmental requirements.


Nomothetic and idiographic knowledge Evidence-based practice Levels of evidence User involvement Systematic feedback 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Modum BadVikersundNorway

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