Personal and Relational Construct Psychology:Philosophical and Methodological Developments

H. G. Procter PhD

Belgrade, 16th-17th November 2013

The beauty of Personal Construct Psychology is that it is strong on both theory and practice and within it the two are richly connected. In the workshop we will look at forms of Qualitative Grid methodology and use them to look at situations from everyday life and clinical practice. These will provide the opportunity to examine some recent theoretical developments which I have been exploring, including both psychological and philosophical considerations. The three levels of interpersonal construing (monadic, dyadic and triadic) inspired by Peirce, Haley and Ugazio prove to be very powerful and throw a great deal of light on the on-going construing involved in relationship process. This has implications for discourse and conversational analysis and has immediate relevance and utility in psychotherapy, family therapy, clinical formulation as well as reflective practice and supervision. It translates into the way we ask clinical and research questions underlying the design of methodologies including Qualitative Grids. Over the past couple of years I have been conducting an intensive study of the work of the American pragmatist philosopher Charles S. Peirce and its implications for constructivist and constructionist theory. I will throw in some aspects of this, including its relation to Kelly’s philosophical assumptions and the processes involved in human construing, imagination and creativity. Peirce and Kelly in many ways prove to be kindred spirits in their wide ranging vision, their playfulness and willingness to critique mainstream assumptions in the philosophy and practice of science.