Personal Construct Counselling in Action
Publication Year: 2000
Subject: Personal Construct Counseling
In Paise of the First Edition `In Britain, few people can have contributed more to the development of a personal construct approach than Fay Fransella and Peggy Dalton... Their book is primarily written for those who may wish to incorporate Kelly's ideas into their existing counselling framework... This is an informative book which is concise, well-written and with no shortage of clinical examples, relevant to all who are interested in counselling and psychotherapy' - British Journal of Psychology The revised and updated edition of this practical, accessible book gives a clear introduction to personal construct counselling for counselling trainees and practitioners alike.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: The Ideas Behind the Action
- Chapter 2: Setting the Scene
- Chapter 3: The Framework for Understanding Problems and Possibilities
- Chapter 4: Exploring the Client's World
- Chapter 5: Counselling as a Process of Reconstruction
- Chapter 6: The Process of Change for Lisa
- Chapter 7: Ending and Evaluating the Process of Personal Construct Counselling – and Beyond
Counseling in Action Series Information[Page ii]
Series Editor: Windy Dryden
SAGE's bestselling Counselling in Action series has gone from strength to strength, with worldwide sales of well over 250,000 copies. Since the first volumes in the series were published, the number of counselling courses has grown enormously, resulting in continuing demand for these introductory texts.
In response, and to keep pace with current developments in theory and practice, SAGE are pleased to announce that new and expanded editions of six of the volumes have now been published.
These short, practical books – developed especially for counsellors and students of counselling – will continue to provide clear and explicit guidelines for counselling practice.
New editions in the series include:
Feminist Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Gestalt Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Transcultural Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Patricia d'Ardenne and Aruna Mahtani
Rational Emotive Behavioural Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Psychodynamic Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Person-Centred Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Dave Mearns and Brian Thorne
Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Transactional Analysis Counselling in Action, Second Edition
Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action, Second Edition
© Fay Fransella and Peggy Dalton 2000
First edition published as Personal Construct Counselling in Action 1990
Reprinted 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998
This edition first published 2000
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 0 7619 6614 5
ISBN 0 7619 6615 3 (pbk)
Library of Congress catalog record available
Typeset by M Rules
Printed in Great Britain by Biddles Ltd, Guildford, Surrey
We wish to thank Windy Dryden, the editor of this series, for his help during the writing of this book.[Page viii]
Personal construct counselling is as much to do with approaching a client with a particular frame of mind as with specific theoretical details about what one might do and specific techniques one might use. This book is designed to provide the reader with a clear idea of what this frame of mind is and the important theoretical ideas that underpin the counselling endeavour. No one will become a personal construct counsellor simply by reading this book, as counselling can only be learned through supervised practice. But the reader will gain some idea of how we work within that frame of mind and some of the specific theoretical concepts and techniques we use.
You may well find some of the techniques that have arisen from within personal construct psychology of use in your attempts to understand those with problems, whether or not you find the personal construct approach of value in itself. References will be provided at the end of the book for those who would like to study the psychology of personal constructs in greater depth.The Language
The aim of this book is to present you with theoretical constructs without also drowning you in the associated jargon. For jargon there is in plenty.
[Page x]The problem with any new theory is to present the ideas in a comprehensible way – that is, using everyday language – yet also to divorce the new ideas from the implicit, personal meanings we come to attach to those everyday words.
Kelly sometimes felt it was necessary to create new definitions. For instance, he describes ‘aggressiveness’ in terms of what the person himself is doing. It becomes ‘the active elaboration of one's perceptual field’. You are aggressive whenever you go out and try something new – like reading this book about personal construct counselling. The term itself carries no value – it does not say whether or not your reading of this book is a good or a bad thing to do – that will be up to your own unique personal way of construing.
We feel that it is important not to use masculine terms all the time. Man may well include all mankind which, by definition, incorporates woman, but when reading books it does not always feel like that. Our unsatisfactory solution is to use ‘him’ and ‘her’ interchangeably and the plural ‘they’ and ‘their’ after such singular nouns as ‘the client’. This is clumsy but we think it better than such unreadable solutions as ‘he/she’ or ‘s/he’.The Practitioners
Kelly wrote his two-volume work primarily with psychology students in mind. But personal construct psychology is being found useful by many groups of people other than psychologists. This book is therefore written for all those who are in the business of helping others. This large group includes speech, occupational, art and music therapists, the clergy, social workers, nurses, personnel managers, general medical practitioners, probation officers and trainers, as well as psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and counsellors.
At the start of his first volume, Kelly wrote a piece ‘To whom it may concern’. He concludes it thus:
To whom are we speaking? In general, we think the reader who takes us seriously will be an adventuresome soul who is not one bit afraid of thinking unorthodox thoughts about people, who dares peer out at the world through the eyes of strangers, who has not invested beyond his means in either ideas or vocabulary, and who is looking for an ad interim, rather than an ultimate, set of psychological insights. He may earn his living as a psychologist, an educator, a social worker, a [Page xi]psychiatrist, a clergyman, an administrator – that is not particularly relevant. He may never have had a course in psychology, although if he has not been puzzling rather seriously over psychological problems he will most certainly be unhappy with his choice of this book. (Kelly, 1955: xi)
Once again it must be stressed that this is not a ‘cook-book’. Any training in counselling takes time and effort and involves supervised practical experience. The Centre for Personal Construct Psychology in London ran a postgraduate course for counsellors and psychotherapists for many years. It was considered necessary that those accepted for the diploma course should attend part-time over a three-year period. That course is now run by Personal Construct Education and Training. Details can be obtained from Peggy Dalton.
However, not everyone wants to make such a long-term commitment. Kelly's ideas have been found useful by many who incorporate them into their existing counselling framework. It is for these people and as a whetter of appetites that this book is written.[Page xii]
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