A Psychotherapist’s Exploration of Clinical Intuition: A Review of the Literature and Discussion

Margaret Arnd-Caddigan, Marilyn Stickle


The psychoanalytic and psychotherapy literature, including Transactional Analysis and Integrative Psychotherapy, have long acknowledged the role of intuition in clinical work.  More recently, cognitive psychology researchers have begun to explore the phenomenon in a more general sense. This article presents an overview of the concept of clinical intuition, and a case study that demonstrates some ways that clinical intuition may be a valuable tool in psychotherapy. In keeping with the relational emphasis in Integrative Psychotherapy, the clinical example explored in this article both arises out of and strengthens the therapeutic alliance and contributes to positive treatment outcomes. The increased awareness of the potential benefits of the phenomenon of clinical intuition suggests the advantages of further legitimizing its use and training thereof. 



intuition; clinical judgment; therapy process

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