The Speakers

September 3, 2020

The Place of Constructivism and PCP in Society and the Human Sciences

Michael F. Mascolo

Merrimack College, USA

Constructivism maintains the importance of taking a credulous approach to understanding the Other -- the view that even when the Other's ways of understanding do not make sense to "us", they make sense to "them". Sociality is the attempt to understand how the actions of another persons, groups and culture are predicated on the meaning that events have for them. It is thus relevant to society in ways that are deeply needed in our divisive times.

September 30, 2020

Understanding Experiences of the Covid-19 Pandemic in PCT Terms

Sabrina Cipolletta

University of Padua, Italy

David Winter

University of Hertfordshire, UK

Cipoletta and Winter consider experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic from the personal construct perspective, drawing particularly on Kelly’s diagnostic constructs, and providing illustrative quotes from participants in a multinational study. Consideration will also be given to an alternative construction of the pandemic as an opportunity for change.

October 1, 2020

What Would Hinkle Make of the COVID Pandemic?

Peter Caputi

University of Wollongong, Australia

Dennis Hinkle was a student of George Kelly. In his dissertation, Hinkle (1965) made an original extension to Kelly's (1955) Choice Corollary. For Hinkle, "a person always chooses in that direction he [or she] anticipates will increase the total meaning and significance of his [or her] life." This talk elaborates on Hinkle's conception of choice and its implications for how we may choose to construct ourselves in the context of the COVID pandemic.

October 15, 2020

Using Playfulness as a Complement to Facilitate Constructive Alternativism

Robert Wright

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Often, we are unable to break out of our predicament because we cling on to our habitual biases and preconceived notions, thereby thwarting our potential for Being and Becoming. This Constructivist Meet-up Session attempts to introduce a pedagogical innovation I invented called “Staying F.O.C.U.S.E.D.” to help open up the alternatives to our toughest unsolved problems, issues and challenges.

October 29, 2020

AI Based Dialogue Systems for Repertory Grid Online Interviews

Matthias Rosenberger

The goal of my research is the development and optimization of Repertory Grid Interviews Online. Thereby social resonance phenomena (Rosa 2018) shall be broken down. For this purpose, I combine the theory of personal constructs according to G. A. Kelly with Alexander's pattern theory (2002 - 2005). In my research, I hope to develop a system that can support large repertory grid surveys using intelligent algorithms from AI research (e.g. word embeddings) as an online dialogue system.

November 5, 2020

The Extra-Ordinary Added Value of Conducting Research using Constructivist Approaches

Pam Denicolo, Marie-Louise Österlind, Shane Dowle & Kim Bradley-Cole

Pam Denicolo (Professor emerita at University of Reading) will briefly reflect on 40 years of conducting and supporting doctoral research into fascinating, diverse topics across a range of disciplines, demonstrating the contributions to the wider community that the constructivist philosophy and methods have made. However, of equal importance to the data and specific understandings generated by this research has been the impact that engagement with PCP has had, not just on the researchers themselves, but on their research participants’ professional and personal lives. The ripples have spread far further than the making of a ‘significant contribution to knowledge’ and the award of a doctorate. This will be ably illustrated by the reflections of three such researchers, one each from the distant, medium term and very recent doctoral study experience, each from different fields of study: Marie-Louise Österlind, Kim Bradley-Cole and Shane Dowle. Colleagues participating in the webinar will be asked to contemplate how PCP has influenced their approach to life beyond their professional practice and how such benefits might be more widely spread.

November 12, 2020

Interpretive Clustering

Viv Burr & Nigel King

In this workshop session, we focused on providing hands-on experience with an innovative method for the qualitative analysis of Repertory Grid data, Interpretive Clustering (IC). After a introducing the method, participants were invited to share a grid they had previously completed and had been analysed using IC, using a new computer program developed by Mark Heckmann. This was followed by a general discussion of the method. The link to the IC software can be found on Mark’s website here:

November 26, 2020

The Therapeutic Relationship with Clients with Phobic, Obsessive-Compulsive, Eating, and Depressive Disorders

Valeria Ugazio

(See Video Link below)

Do clients with phobic, obsessive-compulsive, eating, and depressive disorders interact with their therapist using ways of relating whose respective meanings are characteristic of the semantic of freedom, goodness, power, belonging? And does the therapist take a position in tune with clients’ dominant semantic? Taking the cue from the results of a recent study (Ugazio et al., JCP in press), the workshop will answer these questions. It also will develop the thesis, maintained by Ugazio’s Family Semantic Polarities Theory (FSPT; 2013): that we do not have one single way of building up the therapeutic relationship. Instead, there are as many different ways as the semantics and the related disorders. Consequently, the therapy has to change according to the different constraints and possibilities offered by the therapeutic relationship, as some clinical cases will illustrate. Some therapeutic stories which are possible in one type of therapeutic relationship– in the sense of being productive, easy to implement, boding well for change – are forbidden for another, in the sense that they are difficult to develop, destined to encourage dropping out or to suffer dysfunctional circuits.

For video, click the link below:

December 10, 2020

Being Vaguely Between Something and No-Thing

Peter Edward

Within the social sciences a perennial debate rumbles on between realists and social constructivists. Typically, these debates revolve around the issues of representation: does the mind merely create a representation of an objective world ‘out there’; or is our ‘reality’ entirely subjective and contingent constructed through our socialisation. In these debates it is remarkable just how little consideration is given to the role of the psyche, notwithstanding that ‘how the mind creates reality’ is a central issue for both sides of the debate.

February 14, 2021

Opening the Johari Window: Self-Presentation and Self-Identity – Who am I Talking to and What Am I Saying?

John Fisher

What do people want to say about who, and what, they are to themselves and to others? What does our choice of clothes, appearance, body modifications, life style mean to who we are? What do we want it to say about us to ourselves and to other people?

During this workshop we will be exploring various techniques including the Johari Window We will explore elements of the way people represent themselves and the meanings that they apply to that representation, as well as the meaning we intend to give off to others.

January 21 2021

Personal Construct Psychology and Literature

Carmen Dell’Aversano

In his descriptions both of the PCP therapist, and of some of the fundamental points of PCP, Kelly often refers to attitudes and abilities which make up the core of literary competence. The purpose of this workshop is to connect PCP to some literary-theoretical concepts in order to facilitate an experience of how a deep and self-reflective relationship with literary texts can have a role in the acquisition and fine-tuning of these attitudes and abilities, and thus in therapist training.

February 4 2021

Politicians' Communication in COVID Times from a Personal Construct Psychology Point of View

Massimo Giliberto, Francesca Del Rizzo & Chiara Lui

We will analyse politicians' communications about COVID during lockdown from a PCP perspective. We will focus on the constructs expressed and on their performative features. It will be a conjoint workshop, an opportunity to understand and subsume the processes at play by means, in particular of some Italian examples. Participants will be encouraged to work on examples from the experience of their own countries.

February 18 2021

Triangulating Ontological Positions

Raya Jones

As a psychology of the self or personality, Kelly’s constructivism is similar to other psychologies in some respects and different from those in other respects. I’ll introduce my constructs of a specific triad (PCP, social constructionism, Jung’s model of the psyche) and then invite an open-ended discussion about the psychological significance of images.

April 29 2021

Kelly in the Classroom: Making the Implicit Explicit

Vivienne Baumfield

In this presentation I will discuss how Kelly's Construct Theory informed the development of an exercise called 'Odd-one-Out' as an exercise for teachers to use in the classroom. Odd-one-Out gave teachers insight into how the learners were thinking about and making sense of topics in the school curriculum