Insight and recovery

Bob Green (
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 08:36:13 +1000


Regarding your comments about Kelly and insight, I tend to agree (without
having read as much of Kelly as you) that the term insight is probably being
used in several different ways.

Intellectual insight is one aspect of insight, and alone perhaps not
terribly useful without the integrative aspect of such insight being
incorporated into change or development. Your comments also highlight the
risk of 'insight' without support, e.g., the possible negative consequences
when someone is vulnerable. In these terms a 'lack of insight' can at times
be protective.

>Conversely, he warned therapists against the dangers of getting too carried
>when their client has a big 'insight' (Kelly used scare quotes frequently for
>the term). He felt that often the client may not be ready for the
>implications of the reconstruction and this could lead either to suicide or
to a
>psychotic break. The latter may relate to a sudden loosening of the relevant
>constructs to avoid the implications?(Bannister and Fransella's early work on
>loose construing is, I think, theoretically relevant).

In the terms you have described, would "new insight/comprehensive
construction of one's behaviour" be an outcome of "Assisting the client to
systematically experiment and test new constructions"? Is insight
therefore necessary for change in PCP therapy (whatever that is)?

During the discussion on I raised the issue of remorse (akin to regret and
empathy combined), which is a form of self understanding. The term
construction and revising construction probably reflects all these
variations of self understanding, e.g whether I have 'insight' into
behaviour or have remorse about an offence, the common process is that
construal is involved. Any thought on how these forms of self understanding
might differ?

Enough questions, I look forward to any comment you care to make.