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Constructivism and psychotherapeutic method: Transitive diagnosis as humanistic assessment

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Abstract

Transitive diagnosis, a constructivist approach to psychological assessment, is presented.
... Kelly's theory is often applauded for its humanistic, existential, and phenomenological leanings (Butt, 1998a(Butt, , 1998bEpting & Leitner, 1992;Holland, 1970;Raskin & Epting, 1995), social constructionist approaches have been criticized for being excessively anti-humanistic (Burr, 1995;Gergen, 1995a). Further, social constructionism is relativistic in emphasizing how contextual, linguistic, and relational factors combine to determine the kinds of human beings that people will become and how their views of the world will develop. ...
... In this context, it is interesting to note that Gergen once referred to Kelly's PCP as "perhaps the capstone theory of rationality" (Gergen, 1991, p. 40). On the other hand, whereas Kelly's theory is often applauded for its humanistic, existential, and phenomenological leanings (Butt, 1998a(Butt, , 1998bEpting & Leitner, 1992;Holland, 1970;Raskin & Epting, 1995), social constructionist approaches have been criticized for being excessively anti-humanistic (Burr, 1995;Gergen, 1995a). Further, social constructionism is relativistic in emphasizing how contextual, linguistic, and relational factors combine to determine the kinds of human beings that people will become and how their views of the world will develop. ...
Article
Constructivist perspectives on the Rorschach are outlined. I discuss ways in which constructivism complements and adds to existing Rorschach methodologies. It is suggested hat the constructivist emphasis on personally and socially constructed meanings is very consistent with many of the ways the Rorschach has been used and resonates with recent emphases on the Rorschach as a representational task. Furthermore, constructivist perspectives on Rorschach also provide an opportunity to supplement Exner's (1993, 1995) efforts to standardize and norm the Rorschach in a way that maintains the instrument's historic and admirable attention to relational elements of assessment and psychotherapy. I present a variety of meaning-based techniques for conducting Rorschach assessment, incorporating both the constructivist and social constructionist perspective.
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