Re: Re: Social Constructionism

Malcolm C. Cross (
Thu, 4 Jun 1998 10:00:10 +0000

> Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 15:22:54 EDT
> Subject: Re: Re: Social Constructionism
> From: <M.McClure>

> Malcom Cross, in a response to another individual, mentioned the concept of
> "constructed meaning". I am a new list subscriber and know close to nothing
> about either PCP or Social constructivism, but have found myself intrigued.
> Could some one tell me from which camp "constructed meaning" (PCP or SC)
> derives; books or articles for the beginner might be useful.

By constructed meanings I think that I was implying a distinction
between any school of thought that rests on notions of absolute,
recovered or uncovered meaning. Essentially this distinction relates
to the philosophical stance which sees meaning as residing within -
and therefore being - the property of objects. Social
Constructionists and Personal Constructivists pretty much agree that
people are responsible for making up fictions to describe,
understand, control, and concur the world.

About your fascinating research topic. Kelly talked about
(don't have the page number but I pretty sure it is indexed in Vol I
or II of the 1955 work) creating in therapy new regnant constructs.
This is a collaborative process and indeed there is no reason why -
given that these constructs are plausible to the client (and I am
aware of the many seemingly ridiculous things I ask clients to
experiment with) - they would not be accepted - even temporarily and
tried out. In the context of unethical practice these constructs -
which may be construed as related to "recovery" or "treatment" - may
indeed be exploitative.

> I have been doing research on female therapists who have sexually violated
> boundaries with clients. In particular, I am interested in the bonds that
> have been formed between the therapist and the client. Private, interpersonal
> and intrapersonal meanings are created between the therapist and client. Some
> clients have perspectives, and create meanings, almost exclusively brought
> about between the therapist and themselves. These beliefs/meanings appear to
> be constructed within the psychic-sanctum and are close to impossible to be
> dismantled.
> I'm rambling, but does anyone have any thoughts?
> M.McClure
malcolm c. cross
department of psychology
city university
northampton square
london ec1v ohb

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