Re: Language, constructs, reality, constructivism
Mon, 10 Jun 1996 01:42:07 -0400

Dear Thierry,

I, like you, find it tremendously interesting how Kelly's ideas and
those of the interactionist's of Palo Alto seldom crossed paths and
references. Each appears to have grown completely independently and in
separate parts of literature. I find much of their underlying beliefs about
the structure of language to have a great deal of similarity. I find their
work equally useful for specific circumstances although have trouble finding
any discussion of both schools and their relationship to one another. The
first time I was able to find references between these two groups are by the
cognitive behaviorists in the seventies. They wrote as behaviorists whom
were attempting to link and integrate may of the existing psychological
theories under an observable and researchable framework. The references were
always in passing.
Kelly wrote in the mid-fifties before all but Milton H. Ericson.
Milton H. Ericson was earlier although he was an M.D. and so they were not
traveling in the same circles. Kelly was a part of one the newly formed
training centers for clinical psychologists (after World War 2) and was in
the process of developing his training hand book (The Psychology of Personal
Constructs) as there was little curriculum available.
There is great distrust of prescriptive therapies within PCP and I have
never found anyone familiar with Kelly who also knew this literature and
accepted both for a rational discussion.
I hope someone familiar with both sets of literature will respond to
your questions and also start a discussion about the comparison of these two
quite different approaches.

John Fallon
Thresholds Rehabilitation Center
Chicago, Il USA