Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Curiosity in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Donna BaptisteEmail author
  • Kaitlyn Bellingar
  • Incia Rachid
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_930

Name of the Strategy/Intervention



Some argue that curiosity is one of humankind’s deepest preoccupation, which leads to exploration about how, when, and why things work. This results in problem-solving and creativity (Kunst 2012). The notion of curiosity as valuable to both therapists and clients is also prominent in psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic therapists were the first to describe therapeutic curiosity. They viewed it as one of three basic human drives or instincts, a striving or preoccupation with discovery, that humans cannot live without (Kunst 2012; Nersessian and Silvan 2007). Psychoanalysts believed that therapists should be adept at using curiosity. This means developing a deep interest in people’s lives and a push to examine experiences and activities in the lifespan, to help clients understand themselves, grow, and make peace with themselves (Nersessian and Silvan 2007).

Given the prominence of curiosity in psychoanalytic thought, it is unsurprising...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donna Baptiste
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kaitlyn Bellingar
    • 1
  • Incia Rachid
    • 1
  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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