I picked these photographs to help me explain my construing of PCP, the theoretical underpinning for my work. The photographs/images are current and had no connection to PCP, my work or the development of this website … I merely looked through personal photographs to see what jumped out at me. There was only a vague sense of “that fits” before I started eliciting ‘constructs’, to communicate some of what is important to me about PCP. Constructs are bipolar, and it is the constrast pole which clarifies our meaning. As Kelly would say, we know more about something when we know what it is NOT.
Detailed vs Bland PCP is comprehensive, abstract, and although starts from a simple premise that people have a theory of the world and test out that theory with their behaviour, it is very very detailed in its analysis of the way people make sense of the world around them, how we learn and change, how we make decisions, and the different ways we might approach these things.
Wide Range of Convenience vs specific to a particular context It is important to me that the theory applies as much to you and me as to our ‘clients’, that it is as useful in making sense of a child’s construing as it is a person with severe cognitive impairment. Essentially we are all people noticing and discriminating in the world as we experience it, and PCP embraces that. For this reason PCP has been applied in many different professional contexts.
Growth and sensitivity to context vs unchanging Kelly always said that a theory is only any good until a better one comes along …. There is no theory quite like this one, and post Kellyan applications of PCP are flourishing today 60 years on.
Family vs unrelated to me So the personal part is also very important to me. PCP is family to me, core to my way of understanding my work and my ways of being in the world. I first came across PCP during my undergraduate training as a speech therapist and is key to how I have developed professionally.
Friendship vs not there for me PCP is more than family, a friend who is there for me, a hand to hold providing welcome structure in challenging situations.
Partners in crime vs no real connection Cheekiness …. When I first read George Kelly and Miller Mair’s’s early papers I found myself laughing, a welcome contrast to other reading in the psychology component of my degree. Bold irreverence, a radical and above all USEFUL way of conceptualising human endeavour and human experience. A framework with which to create and explore and play …. Structure and yet freedom to step outside the box and develop relevant and innovative ways to make a difference to people.