Date of Award

Summer 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mark McMinn, Ph.D, ABPP


Abstract Narrative identity is “the internalized, evolving story of the self that each person crafts to provide his or her life with a sense of purpose and unity” (Adler, 2012, p. 367). This identity is distinct from the broad dispositional traits and the characteristic adaptations for contextualized behaviors. It provides the self with a sense of purpose, meaning, and unity across time and situations (McAdams & Olson, 2010). Researchers have developed ways of measuring innovative moments (IMs), or shifts in narrative identity that occur in psychotherapy. Researchers have also explored narrative identity processing as it seems to occur across the lifespan. This study used qualitative reflective learning methods in an attempt to describe some of the narrative identity processes that may be supported during clinical training in graduate psychology programs. Eight narratives, collected from novice clinicians, revealed innovative moments occurring secondary to clinical training. Primary themes include (a) performance, (b) cultural and racial identity, and (c) emotionality, relatedness, and presence. Implications are discussed. The occurrence of these IMs, their themes, and the implications for clinical training warrant further research and exploration.