|From a personal
construct theory perspective, there may be several advantages in
out psychotherapy in a group setting, and some of these were originally
noted by George Kelly. The group provides a
in which group members can carry out social experiments; it may
the development of a more comprehensive social role; it may promote the
revision of constellatory and preemptive constructs; and it may encourage
of dependencies. There is considerable
evidence from studies employing repertory
grid technique that group psychotherapy, conducted from various
perspectives, may lead to reconstruction, for example to more
self-construing and greater construed similarity of the self to others
Kelly’s (1955) original method of personal construct group
psychotherapy, in which the group is considered to pass through a
series of stages and different therapeutic approaches are used at each
stage, is now rarely used. However, later personal construct theorists
have developed new group therapy methods, most of which employ
structured exercises. One of the most commonly used of these is the Interpersonal
Transaction Group (Landfield and Rivers, 1975; Neimeyer, 1988), in
which part of the group session is conducted in rotating dyads, where
each member interacts with every other on a theme provided by the group
therapist. These interactions are then discussed in a plenary phase of
Personal construct group psychotherapy has been employed with clients
presenting with a wide range of problems, and including children,
adolescents, adults of working age, and older people (Winter, 1992b,
evidence has been provided of the effectiveness of several of these
applications (see personal construct psychotherapy, effectiveness).
G.A. (1955). The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York:
Norton (republished by Routledge, 1991).
A.W. and Rivers, P.C. (1975). An introduction to
interpersonal transaction and rotating dyads. Psychotherapy: Theory
Research and Practice, 12, 366-74.
R.A. (1988). Clinical guidelines for conducting Interpersonal
Transaction Groups. International Journal of Personal Construct
Psychology, 1, 181-90.
D.A. (1992a). Repertory grid technique as a group psychotherapy
research instrument. Group Analysis, 25, 449-62.
D.A. (1992b). Personal Construct Psychology in Clinical
Practice: Theory, Research and Applications. London: Routledge.
D.A. (1997). Personal construct perspectives on group
P. Denicolo and M. Pope (eds.), Sharing Understanding and Practice.
Farnborough: EPCA Publications.
D.A. (2003). Psychotherapy Research, in press.
David A. Winter