Re: Language, constructs, reality, const

Mon, 10 Jun 1996 03:02:40, -0500

Dear John,

You've sucessfully lured me out of lurkdom with your comments... between
Gary's recent mentions of Maturana and Varela, and this now emerging
commentary which includes or at least seems to imply links to Erickson,
Watzlawick, von Foerster, and von Glasersfeld, this is starting to sound
like a familiar discussion...

I am a family counselor by training, interested and immersed in postmodern/
social constructionist ideas (a la Gergen, Hoffman, Anderson & Goolishian,
T. Andersen, Tomm, White & Epston)...primarily Narrative therapy and
Collaborative Language Systems. But my recently growing interest in Kelly's
work has led me to believe there is room for constructive alternativism in
this rather sizable theoretical tent I've come to inhabit. While some other
folks (cf. Dickerson & Zimmerman) have taken a stance that tends to draw
out real distinctions between constructivism and social construction, I'm
tending toward an integrative model that attempts to draw on all of the
above sources( and a bit of Harry Stack Sullivan for good measure! ).

But there is a distinction that I do draw, that being around the idea of
grand organizing frames...Lyotard, wrote that postmodernism involves
"incredulity toward metanarratives", and I find my work situated within
that definition; that is, I don't define my work in terms of some grand
theory, and I'm skeptical of essentialist ideologies. I'm quite curious
about your idea of using Kelly's work as a "organizing framework"; could
you say more about that? How does that usage show itself clinically? How
would a consumer experience that clinical application?

I'm sure there are more questions, but it is quite late, so I'll allow
others to expand on this if there's an any event, thanks for
piquing mine!


Greg Stanton
Jersey City, NJ