|Fixed-role therapy is one of the
few therapeutic techniques devised by George Kelly
(1955). The usual procedure is that the client is asked to write a self-characterisation
and, drawing upon this, the therapist writes a sketch of a new
character which the client, if s/he finds it plausible, is asked to
enact for two
weeks. This character will not be someone who is the complete opposite
the client but instead is likely to introduce some new construct
to the client’s major existing construct dimensions. During the enactment
period, the client is encouraged to "become" the new character, and
therapy sessions will be held in which the client rehearses the role,
on situations which s/he is likely to enter outside the therapy room.
aim of the exercise is not to transform the client permanently into the
character but rather to encourage experimentation and provide "one
rousing, construct-shaking experience" (Kelly, 1955, p. 412).
There have been several variations in the fixed-role procedure,
including applications of it by Kelly and others in the group setting
(e.g. Epting and Nazarion, 1987) and in marital therapy (Kremsdorf,
1985). There has
also been some research evidence of the effectiveness of fixed-role
procedures, although some of these depart markedly from Kelly’s
original method (Karst and Trexler, 1970: Lira et al., 1975; Beail and
N. and Parker, C. (1991). Group fixed role therapy: a clinical
application. International Journal of Personal Construct
Psychology, 4, 85-96.
F.R. and Nazario, A., Jr. (1987). Designing a fixed role
therapy: issues, technique, and modifications. In R.A. Neimeyer and
G.J. Neimeyer (eds.), Personal Construct Psychotherapy Casebook.
New York: Springer.
G.A. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New
York: Norton (republished by Routledge, 1991).
R. (1985). An extension of fixed-role therapy with a couple.
In F. Epting and A.W. Landfield (eds.), Anticipating Personal
Construct Pychology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,.
David A. Winter