'If you want to know what's wrong with someone, ask them - they may tell you!'
Kelly, in Bannister and Fransella (1986)
This quote from George Kelly, originator of Personal Construct Psychology (PCP), illustrates with humour his important theory that each one of us has developed a very personal and individual system for making sense of the world. The ways in which we think, feel about and understand the world around us all depend on the nature of this system of personal constructs we have devised. In order to make sense of the behaviour of another person we have to begin by understanding his or her personal constructs, which means talking to them and asking them to talk about themselves.
Simon Burnham is a practitioner who uses and teaches personal construct theory and has written a practical book which;
- introduces the theory in an accessible way
- provides exercises and examples to illustrate the relevance of PCP to all our lives
- explains how to use PCP in support and interview sessions with young people
- extends its use into the practice of advocacy and representation.
Readers attempting to understand the views and motivations of children and young people, and representing or explaining these views to others, will find that this book offers valuable practical ways to enhance the work they do. The book sets out to influence practice and includes a PowerPoint interview and assessment session which can be used with a child or young person via a laptop or PC and printed to provide a structure for recording the outcomes of the discussion.
Preface PART ONE: INTRODUCTION We are all scientists 'a unique knowledge' PART TWO: WHAT IS PERSONAL CONSTRUCT PSYCHOLOGY? Some personal reflection George Kelly's three 'big ideas' What is a construct? Constructive alternativism: what does it mean to reconstrue something? Behaviour as hypothesis-testing: the need for prediction and control PART THREE: HOW DO YOU 'DO' PERSONAL CONSTRUCT PSYCHOLOGY? Eliciting constructs How would you describe yourself? Triadic elicitation Drawing 'Me as I am' Exploring constructs Laddering Pyramiding Salmon Lines PART FOUR: WHAT USE IS PERSONAL CONSTRUCT PSYCHOLOGY? NINE CASE STUDIES Appearances are deceptive - Annie, Sean and Robbie Why should I be normal? - Daniel, Chester and Haley How can I change? - Charlie, Toby and Rory PART FIVE: USING THE 'LET'S TALK' CD ROM Background Using Let's Talk Age range Notes to accompany slides 1 - 16 References