Re: Kelly & others

R. A. Neimeyer, U of Memphis (neimeyerra@MSUVX1.MEMPHIS.EDU)
Wed, 27 Sep 1995 18:39:25 -0600

Jonathan Raskin asked whether my note that Kelly and Beck are worlds apart
represented an "inherent" difference between them, or my own evaluation.
Clearly, as a constructivist, I would be hard pressed to say that they are
"inherently" on different planets, but I can certainly say that I have
found it viable to construe them that way!

Beck and Kelly (and other contemporary objectivists and constructivists
broadly aligned with their respective orientations) differ
epistemologically on the nature of human mentation, their conceptualization
of cognitive structure, criteria for the validation of knowledge, and their
positions on the nature of "truth," among other things. Perhaps more
importantly (or at least more pragmatically), these epistemological
commitments are translated into quite different strategic emphases in
therapy, in terms of the focus and intent of psychological assessment, the
goals of therapy, the treatement of (negative) emotion, preferred levels of
intervention, the therapist's relational and "cognitive" style, and the way
in which one orchestrates process in group therapy.

I have tried to tease out some of these issues in various articles,
including one entitled Constructivism and the cognitive therapies: Some
conceptual and strategic contrasts, in the Journal of Cognitive
Psychotherapy, 7, 1993, pp. 159-171. I also revisited and amplified these
themes in the opening chapters of Constructivism in Psychotherapy, which
Mike Mahoney and I published this year with APA.

Any further thoughts on your constructions of my constructions of Kelly and
Beck's constructions would be welcome!

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-4680
FAX (901) 678-2579