A theory with infinite possibilities

July 16 to 20  2007
The XVIIth International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology
Brisbane, Australia

About the congress
Call for contributions

Travelling to Brisbane
Getting around
About Brisbane
Brisbane Pix
Queensland Holidays
Guide to Australia

About APCG
About PCP

Web design:
J. W. Scheer

Last update

The program is arranged over four days from the afternoon of Monday 16th July through to the afternoon of Thursday 19th  July. It is comprised of paid workshops [held on Monday morning], posters, papers, keynote addresses, and workshops held within the program.
Papers are divided into four streams with presentations scheduled to minimize conflict within streams
Clinical & Counselling
General, Theoretical & Methodological
Organizational & Sport

Keynote Addresses

Robert A. Neimeyer (University of Memphis, USA)

Grief, Loss and the Quest for Meaning

Robert A. Neimeyer, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of Psychotherapy Research in the Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, where he also maintains an active clinical practice. Neimeyer has published 20 books, including Meaning Reconstruction and the Experience of Loss, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of over 300 articles and book chapters, and a frequent workshop presenter, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process.  Neimeyer served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement.  In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, and made a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Trevor Butt (University of Huddersfield, UK)

The Legacy of George Kelly: Reasons to be Cheerful

Trevor Butt, Ph.D., is Reader in Psychology at the University of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. He trained as a clinical psychologist and retains an interest in psychological therapies. He was Chair of the British Psychological Society's Psychotherapy Section in 2001. He is interested in phenomenological methods and existential psychology and their relationship with Personal Construct Theory. He is co-editor of Personal Construct Theory and Practice, and is the author of Understanding People (Palgrave 2004), George Kelly and the Psychology of Personal Constructs (Palgrave in press) and, with Viv Burr,  Invitation to Personal Construct Psychology (Whurr 2004).

Jörn Scheer (Hamburg, Germany)

Can PCP change the world? Reflections on the power of a theory

Jörn Scheer, Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Giessen, Germany. He has published extensively in the fields of psychosomatic medicine, psychotherapy, medical and health psychology, and of course in personal construct psychology. He now lives in his home town of
and devotes much of his time to promoting personal construct psychology, mainly through the Internet. He co-edited the first introduction to the repertory grid technique in German and is co-editor of the e-journal Personal Construct Theory & Practice and the Internet Encyclopaedia of Personal Construct Psychology. His latest edited books dealt with cross-cultural aspects of PCP and with PCP and the arts.

David Winter (University of Hertfordshire, UK)
[with] Emma Summerfield (University of Hertfordshire, UK), Judy Duncan (Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, UK)

Love Hurts: Personal Construct Perspectives on Love, Validation and Conflict

David Winter, Ph.D., is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, U.K., where he directs the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is also Head of Clinical Psychology Services for Barnet in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. He has employed personal construct psychology in his clinical practice within the British National Health Service and in research for over 45 years, and has approximately 100 publications in this area. These include Personal Construct Psychology in Clinical Practice: Theory, Research and Applications (Routledge, 1992/1994) and Personal Construct Psychotherapy: Advances in Theory, Practice, and Research (edited with Linda Viney: Whurr, 2005).  He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and past Chair of its Psychotherapy Section; a registered personal construct psychotherapist with the UK Council for Psychotherapy, Chair of its Research Committee and past Chair of its Experiential Constructivist Section. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Constructivist Psychology and Research Editor of the European Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Papers & Posters

Clinical / Counselling Stream
Bronwyn Seaborn, Linda L. Viney, Deborah Truneckova & Peter Caputi
University of Wollongong, NSW
PCT Group Work with Abused Children: an Evaluation


Alexandra L. Adame, Anthony Pavlo, Brendon M. Smith, Hugo J. Schielke, Larry M. Leitner
Miami University, USA
Self-other Permanence in Psychotherapy
Alexandra L. Adame, Larry M. Leitner
Miami University, USA
Reverence and Recovery: Experiential Personal Construct Psychotherapy and Transpersonal Reverence
Cathy Bentley, Linda Viney,
University of Wollongong, NSW
Reconstructing identities: A personal construct approach to unearthing the identities of family caregivers of people with serious mental illnesses.
Claudia Roció Bueno Castro, General Attorney of the State of Mexico
Gloria Margarita Gurrola Peña,  José Antonio Virseda Heras, & Patricia Balcázar Nava, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico
Self-construction in a sample of raped women.
Nick Gerrish & Lyndall Steed,
Curtin University of Technology, WA
Biographical Grids: Creative Adaptations and Applications of the Method with Bereaved Mothers
Donald K. Granvold, Larry D. Watson
The University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Whose Baby is It?  Post-modern Influence in Adoption Practices
Donald K. Granvold
The University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Intimate Connections:  Constructivist Couple Therapy
Stephanie Lewis Harter, Bryton D. Schaffner, Tyne N. Carrington, and Benjamin D. Williams
Texas Tech University, USA
Gregory W. Harter
University of Texas Permian Basin, USA
Analysis of self descriptions:  Characteristics related to sexual abuse history, anticipations of other’s evaluations, distress, and well-being.
Chris Laming,
Monash University, Vic
Lloyd Davies,
Latrobe Community Health Service, Vic
Anticipations of Hope: Stories from the Shed.
Chris Laming,
Monash University, Gippsland, Vic
Challenging men’s violence and abuse: Comparisons of PCP used in Scotland, England and Australia 
Hilary A. Maitland & Linda L. Viney
The University of Wollongong, NSW
Disclosing childhood sexual assault in close relationships: the meanings and emotions women associate with their experiences and their lives now
Anthony Pavlo & Larry Leitner
Miami University, USA
Viable alternatives to psychiatric diagnosis
Gloria Margarita Gurrola Peña, Patricia Balcázar Nava
Autonomous University of the State of Mexico
Claudia Roció Bueno Castro.
General Attorney of the State of Mexico
Self evolution in women who live violence
Gloria Margarita Gurrola Peña, José Antonio Virseda Heras, Patricia Balcázar Nava, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico
Kenneth Sewell , University of North Texas, USA
Which is the dilemma? Analysis of dilemma constructs among women who survived marital violence.
Gloria Margarita Gurrola Peña, José Antonio Virseda Heras, Patricia Balcázar Nava, Martha Patricia Bonilla Muñoz.,Autonomous University of the State of Mexico
Kenneth Sewell, University of North Texas, USA
The aggressor construction among women who have lived in a marital violence situation.
Stephen Rayner & Linda Viney
University of Wollongong
Maintaining mental health in the face of trauma
Andzela Steinberga,
University of Latvia
Similarities and differences between working with ASD (Autistic spectrum disorders) clients and clients with severe stuttering during speech therapy in the frame of PCP.
Barbara Tooth,
Challenges in educating the mental health workforce to help rather than hinder: How PCP can help educate about recovery and recovery orientated practice
Deborah Truneckova,
NSW State Department of Education
Linda L. Viney, 
Uni of Wollongong, NSW
Small-group counselling with primary school children
Linda L. Viney, 
Uni of Wollongong, NSW
Deborah Truneckova,
NSW State Department of Education
Personal Construct models of group supervision: Led and Peer
Bill Warren
University of Newcastle, NSW
Problems and prospects for forensic assessment and reporting from the PCP perspective
David Winter, Emma Summerfield
University of Hertfordshire, UK
Judy Duncan,
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, UK
Love Hurts: Personal Construct Perspectives on Love, Validation and Conflict

Theoretical / Methodological Stream
Peter Caputi
University of Wollongong, NSW
Using formal concept analysis to analyse repertory grid data
Carole Carter
University of Wollongong
Exploring the Experience of Betrayal:  The possibilities of crossing Archetypal Psychology with PCP?
Julene Denne Cook
Camperdown Resilience Centre & Ballarat University, Vic
30 years with Pre-colonial Wathawurrong: Prediction, Validation and Explanation via PCP.
Bob Green
Community Forensic Mental Health Service, Qld
Musing about constructs
Desley Hennessy & Beverly M. Walker
University of Wollongong, NSW
If I’m unique, and you’re unique, let’s be unique together
Devi Jankowicz
University of Bedfordshire, UK
We Need Anonymity Like We Need A Hole In the Head: thoughts On the Implications of the Collaborative Paradigm In PCP
Spencer A. McWilliams
California State University San Marcos USA
Ontological Acceleration and Human Agency
Antonio G. Moran,
University of the Philippines in Mindanao
On the edge of chaos: Eliciting tacit knowledge from the conflict zones of Southern Philippines
Otilia Rodrigues
University of Wollongong, NSW
Breaking Down Cultural Barriers through Psychophotography
Helen Ross
University of Queenland
Nick Abel,
CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
Construing Ecological Processes: Combining Personal Construct And Mental Models Theories For The Best Of Both Worlds
Beverly M. Walker,
University of Wollongong, NSW.
David Winter,
University of Hertfordshire, UK
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust
Lessons from writing an Annual Review of Psychology paper.

Organisational / Sport Stream
Peter Caputi, Coral Warren
University of Wollongong, NSW
The use of the Experience Cycle in understanding IS user behaviour.
Dorota Dobosz-Bourne
Queen Mary, University of London, UK
The Creativity Cycle as a potential tool for dissolving gendered perceptions of professions.
Mairead Dundas & Richard Bell
University of Melbourne, Vic
Using Repertory Grids in the Evaluation of Perceptions of Organizational Change.
Daniel Gucciardi, Tim Chambers, Sandy Gordon
The University of Western Australia, WA
Construing the personal constructs of athletes and exercisers: Research and applied perspectives
Terence R Keen
Barton Management, Totnes UK
Carlo Amalfitano
Netlogix, Melbourne Beach FL, USA
Helen Turnbull
Private Practice, Plantation FL, USA
Practical Uses of a RepGrid Methodology in the Commercial World: A Move Towards Meaningful, Semi-Automated Feedback Utilising a New Analytical Programme.
Steven Pike
Queensland University of Technology, Qld
Destination image analysis – the use of Kelly’s triads to elicit salient attributes
David J Savage, Private Practice, Willaston, UK
David Yardley, Private Practice, Chester, UK
Learning from Inspirational Coaches
Kerryn Short & Richard Bell
University of Melbourne, Vic
On whom do managers depend: An investigation using Kelly’s Dependency Grid.
Robert Wright
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Professor Devi Jankowicz
University of Bedfordshire, UK
Making sense of international cognitions of effective directorship in Hong Kong and UK listed boards

Educational Stream
Mary R Hedges
University of Auckland, NZ
A Personal Construct Theory of Tertiary Training Choice
Angela McGrane
Northumbria University, UK
Investigating Student Expectations of University

Workshops within the Programme

Robert A. Neimeyer
University of Memphis, USA
Meaning Reconstruction & Loss
Peter Prisgrove
Private Practice, Bicton, WA
Personal construct theory and technique in professional supervision
Jörn Scheer
Hamburg, Germany
Workshop: Construing stories
Miriam Stein, Private Practice, Surry Hills, NSW
Elaine Atkinson, Private Practice, Subiaco, WA
Ms Anne Fraser
Department for Community Development, WA
Using PCP Techniques with Adolescents – More than the sum of their parts
Carlo Amalfitano
Netlogix, Melbourne Beach FL, USA
Terence R Keen
Barton Management, Totnes UK
Helen Turnbull
Private Practice, Plantation FL, USA
Workshop 1. A workshop for users: introducing HF2 an new way of processing and displaying results of RepGrid data
Helen Turnbull
Private Practice, Plantation FL, USA
Carlo Amalfitano
Netlogix, Melbourne Beach FL, USA
Terence R Keen
Barton Management, Totnes UK
Workshop 2. A hands-on workshop allowing attendees to explore the HF2 programme on their own computers, or on supplied computers (shared).


Pre Conference (Paid) Workshops
Larry M. Leitner (Miami University, Oxford, OhioUSA)

An Introduction to Personal Construct Psychology
This workshop will introduce you to basic concepts and approaches associated with Kelly’s Personal Construct Psychology. After briefly discussing the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the theory, we will survey both research and clinical methodologies associated with the theory. We then will spend time sampling the theoretical, methodological, and clinical evolution of the theory over the last few decades. The workshop will be participant driven, in the sense that the presenter will move the discussion in different directions, depending on the needs and interests of the participants. Further, all sections of the workshop will include experiential exercises as well as didactic material.
Larry M. Leitner is a Professor of Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (through the Divisions of Psychotherapy and Humanistic Psychology). He also is a past President of the Division of Humanistic Psychology and past-editor of The Humanistic Psychologist. He has authored over 80 articles and chapters on experiential constructivist understandings of psychopathology and psychotherapy. He also has authored or edited three volumes, Assessing experience in psychotherapy (with A. J. Faidley, Praeger, 1993), Critical issues in personal construct psychotherapy (with G. Dunnett, Krieger, 1993), and Personal construct psychology: Psychotherapy and personality (with A. W. Landfield, Wiley, 1980).
Spencer A. McWilliams (California State University San Marcos USA)
Constructivist Psychology and Zen Buddhism

Although evolving from different lineages many years apart, many constructivist issues and ideas have been foreshadowed by Buddhist philosophy and psychology and manifest in Zen meditation practice.  This workshop will explore a variety of facets of the intriguing interface and parallels between these two perspectives.  We will begin with the Middle Way philosophy of Madhyamika Buddhism, which addresses the question of realism versus nihilism by demonstrating the interdependence, impermanence, and emptiness (lack of essence) of phenomena and proposes that we view phenomena as conventionally real but not having inherent reality.  We will next consider how we might construe the notion of self from this perspective of emptiness, applying the Zen understanding of “no-self” to a Western view, emphasizing how we tend to reify conventional concepts of the self and treat it as having inherent existence.  This exploration will lead to consideration and demonstration of a variety of Zen techniques that focus on awareness of created mental processes and immediate physical sensations as a way to assist us in seeing that phenomena, including self, lack permanent essence.  We will conclude with a review of some classic Zen texts (sutras) that help to elucidate the perspective.  Throughout the workshop we will compare and contrast the Zen concepts with relevant constructivist viewpoints, including radical constructivism and social constructionism. 
Workshop objectives:
  • Identify major parallels between constructivist psychology (including radical constructivism and social constructionism) and Buddhist philosophy (including Buddhist psychology and Zen meditation practice).  
  • Define major concepts of the Middle Way philosophy of Madhyamika Buddhism
  • Distinguish the notion of “no-self” from the Zen perspective of emptiness from the traditional Western psychology view of self
  • Explain the tendency to reify conventional concepts of the self and treat them as having inherent existence. 
  • Demonstrate a variety of Zen techniques that focus on awareness of created mental processes and immediate physical sensations
  • Review three classic Zen texts (sutras) in terms of their relevance to constructivist thought. 
Spence McWilliams is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California – San Marcos with interests in Personal Construct Psychology and Zen meditation Using metaphors such as anarchy and idolatry his publications emphasize our personal role in constructing our beliefs and understanding, and he has discussed language techniques and meditation approaches that help us attend to our active participation in creating meaning.  His current work explores the interface between Zen meditation, Buddhist psychology, and various constructivist issues and themes.  

Social Outing: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary, with over 130 koalas. Cuddle a koala anytime, handfeed kangaroos and encounter a large variety of Aussie wildlife, all in beautiful, natural settings. Info:

Conference Dinner
The conference dinner is to be held at the acclaimed Oxleys which floats on the Brisbane River. The dinner cost includes the meal, transport and drinks. Info: