Personal Construct Psychology for Living and Learning


Enabling Self Development and Change

Jenny Newland

2b Clarence Street, Edinburgh EH3 5AF

Tel: 07954 229 255

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Personal Construct Psychology (PCP)

My professional training is in Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) which is based on the work of George Kelly.

Coming from the philosophical standpoint of Constructive Alternativism, PCP is an optimistic, respectful and forward thinking psychology which lends itself well to both therapy and educational work.

Kelly puts forward a number of ideas that I find exciting to work with and applicable to the range of work that I am interested in.
An important underlying belief from PCP is that there is always an alternative way of looking at and understanding things. This constantly provides a challenge to our creativity and imaginations.

In therapy, this means that the emphasis may be less on helping someone to find a 'true' understanding of what is going on so much as an understanding that will  work for them in helping them move forwards from where they may have become stuck.

Within an educational context, this means that there is always another way to approach the matter in hand.  It may be a case of considering alternative perspectives on the presenting problem.  It also means remembering that there will be many possible ways to reach a solution and creativity and openness to new ideas and possibilities are required to find them.  Approaching an educational sticking point with this in mind enables the educator and learner to work together to find something that is both meaningful and useful to both.
The implication running right through PCP is that importance lies in meanings rather than in actual events. A person's  experience of events takes on more importance than the historical fact of the events themselves.
When writing about therapy, George Kelly stated that the client knows more about their own difficulties than anyone else and it is the task of the therapist to help a client to create a more fruitful life for themselves.  I believe that this is a useful starting point for working with everyone.  People generally have a very good idea about what is 'wrong'.  What they struggle with is how to put it 'right'.
Kelly saw 'behaviour' as an 'experiment' - an idea which encourages a positive perspective on things that may at first seem otherwise. If a person's behaviour is seen as a series of experiments, it leads us to consider what might be the nature of their hypothesis.
For more information about PCP, please do feel free to get in touch and ask.
Also, there are further links and references available here