Re: PCP psychotherapy books

Helen Jones (
Wed, 30 Jun 1999 18:51:03 -0700

What about "Working with People" Routledge, London ed. Dunnett, G., 1988
and especially !A Psychology for Living" by Peggy Dalton and Gavin Dunnett,
Wiley, 1992 (shortly to be reprinted by EPCA Publications - Reading). I
have used this as a core text in many programmes teaching people about PCP.

Hope you can get hold of these two books.

Helen Jones

> From: Tim Connor <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: PCP psychotherapy books
> Date: Tuesday, June 29, 1999 8:20 PM
> I must confess, I've been somewhat disappointed in most of the
> practice-oriented books on PCP I've read, though I wouldn't want to
> suggest that they aren't useful. I own Winter's book, as well as Fay
> Fransella & Peggy Dalton's "Personal Construct Counseling in Action" and
> Linda Viney's "Personal Construct therapy: A Handbook," and have found
> all of them valuable (Winter's is most useful as a guide to the
> literature on PCP psychotherapy; it's not at all a manual, though it
> very effectively delineates the range of techniques that have been used
> in personal construct therapy).
> It seems to me that much of the writing on PCP therapy practice goes to
> such great effort not to be a cookbook that it often falls in the other
> direction--it fails to provide much in the way of technique at all,
> seeming to proceed from the assumption that if you really understand the
> theory, you'll know what to do. There's also far too much emphasis on
> grids, compared to all the rest of the stuff that happens in therapy.
> It's a difficult line to walk--I would hate to see PCP reduced to a set
> of pat, manualized "interventions" (as if such a thing were possible).
> But I don't think that theory itself is enough to inform clinical
> practice--there needs to be some sense of how particular kinds of
> actions by the therapist help the client's reconstruing, and this tends
> to get somewhat short shrift.
> There are a lot of good chapters in edited books in the PCP
> literature--maybe when I have a bit of time I'll dig around and come up
> with a list. (One that comes to mind immediately is Bob Neimeyer's
> chapter in Rosen & Kuehlwein's "Constructing Realities": "Process
> interventions for the constructivist psychotherapist.") And there are
> some books that are not explicitly PCP oriented, but that seem (to me)
> quite compatible. One of the best of these, IMHO, is Ecker & Hulley's
> "Depth-Oriented Brief Therapy," which acknowledges some debt to Kelly,
> but not as much as it should.
> I would love to see a collection of PCP case studies, with extensive
> transcripts and commentary. Maybe someone's working on this already.
> Best,
> Tim