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What is Personal Construct Psychology Pt 8

What is Personal Construct Psychology Pt 8


In personal construct therapy subjects are seen as those who are unable to test appropriately and elaborate their construct systems for some reason, so their understanding of themselves and their interpersonal worlds present problems.  Their construing may have become circular, so they are endlessly testing and retesting the same hypotheses, and are able to accept the implications they collect.  They may have moved into the kind of chaos where constructions are so loose they cannot provide any clear expectations to be tested.

The therapist will aim to help the subject test the validity of his or her own system. If they are successful, then the person will begin to elaborate their constructs and move forwards.  The direction in which they go will be their decision, not the therapist’s.


Kelly’s “first principle” was, “If you don’t know what is wrong with a patient, ask him, he may be able to tell you”.  This is in contrast to many therapies which would see introspection as unhelpful.

A form of assessment called ‘self characterisation’ is used where the subject writes a character sketch about himself in the third person from the view point of an intimate and sympathetic friend.  It aims to get the person’s structures of their world in as objective a way as possible.


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