Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Combs, Gene

  • Irma RodríguezEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_887


Gene Combs, MD (1946–)


Gene Combs is internationally recognized for his advances in narrative theory and training. He has been involved for the last quarter century in the development of narrative therapy as a distinct approach to individual therapy, family therapy, and community work. In his current day-to-day work, he is developing ways to help primary care physicians become more skilled at understanding and working with the particular hopes and fears of the people who consult with them. With his partner Jill Freedman, Gene has practiced, studied, taught, and written about narrative therapy for over two decades.


Gene received an MD from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1972, which he followed with a Psychiatry Residency, at the same institution. He specialized in Family Therapy through live supervision with Jay Haley and Cloe Madanes, residential workshops and supervisory experiences in Italy with Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin, and...

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  1. Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (1990). Symbol, story, and ceremony: Using metaphor in individual and family therapy. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  2. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (1996). Narrative therapy: The social construction of preferred realities. New York: Norton. (Also in Russian, Taiwanese, Korean, Chinese, Czech, and Serbian Translations).Google Scholar
  3. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (2002). Narrative therapy with couples… and a whole lot more! Adelaide: Dulwich Centre Publications. (Also in Korean Translation).Google Scholar


  1. Chang, J., Combs, G., Dolan, Y., Freedman, J., Mitchell, T., & Trepper, T. S. (2012). From Ericksonian roots to postmodern futures. Part I: Finding postmodernism. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 31(4), 63–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chang, J., Combs, G., Dolan, Y., Freedman, J., Mitchell, T., & Trepper, T. S. (2013). From Ericksonian roots to postmodern futures. Part II: Shaping the future. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 32(2), 35–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (2002). Relationships not boundaries. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 23(3), 203–217.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (2012). Narrative, postructuralism, and social justice: Current practices in narrative therapy. Counseling Psychologist, 40(7), 1033–1060.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000012460662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Combs, G., & Freedman, J. (2016). Narrative therapy’s relational understanding of identity. Family Process, 55(2), 211–224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (2000). Therapy relationships that open up possibilities for us all. Dulwich Centre Journal, 1 & 2, 17–20.Google Scholar
  7. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (2001). Facilitating a narrative culture in a school. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 20(3), 49–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freedman, J., & Combs, G. (2009). Narrative ideas for consulting with communities and organizations: Ripples from the gatherings. Family Process, 48(3), 347–362.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico