Understanding Humility and Its Role in Relational Therapy

Trampas J. Rowden, Steven M. Harris, Katharine Wickel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Humility is a character trait and virtue that has received scant attention in psychotherapy literature. A panel of experts was assembled to confer on their beliefs about humility for this Delphi study. They responded to a proposed definition of humility and provided a variety of statements regarding the role of humility in client change and relational therapy in general. The results suggest that key elements of change that occur during the process of relational therapy (including certain "common factors") seem to be related to humility. Also, humility's unique relationship to self and other suggests it is often at work in relational change. The authors propose further exploration of humility and its role as a pre-cursor to client change efforts. Humility's role in the Transtheoretical Model of Change is hypothesized and future directions for theory and research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-391
Number of pages12
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • Client change
  • Common factors
  • Humility
  • Stages of change
  • Virtues


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