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About the European Constructivist Training Network
 ECTN is a new network for European Schools of Psychology and Psychotherapy devoted to Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) and to other constructivist and constructionist approaches. The prime inspiration for those who participate in the Network is to build connections and share ideas and resources to enrich our work.
The network has been formed through collaboration between the Institute of Constructivist Psychology (Italy) and the Serbian Constructivist Association (Serbia) and has been joined by the Personal Construct Psychology Association (United Kingdom
Key contacts:
  • Massimo Giliberto, Institute of Constructivist Psychology, Padua, Italy
  • Dusan Stojnov, Serbian Constructivist Association, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Mary Frances, PCP Association, UK
Massimo Giliberto, Mary Frances, Dušan Stojnov
Over the last twenty years, a growing number of people and institutions in Europe have been working with a constructivist/constructionist approach to psychology and psychotherapy. Their work is based in PCP, radical constructivism, social constructionism, systemic constructivism, narrative psychotherapy and other broadly constructivist approaches.
The common denominator is the emphasis that they give to the active construction of meaning by people. Constructivism/constructionism claims that there is no given human nature waiting to be discovered, but rather that we are actively constructing the meanings we give to the world, to others, and to ourselves. Rather than absolute truth and objective reality, our focus is the world that we create with each other. To live is to create meaning.
Our efforts are aimed not only at challenging existing dominant approaches in psychology and psychotherapy, but also at elaborating a common perspective based on constructivist/constructionist principles.

We advocate reciprocal dialogue among all those hoping to situate constructivist/constructionist practice in the context of empowering conversation, emancipatory knowledge, challenging the obvious, entering the unknown and transforming perspectives. We want to advocate a practice in which we aim to understand without stigmatizing, offer assistance without judging, help without prescribing, and facilitate without pathologizing.
Institutions offering training in constructivist/constructionist approaches can be isolated and have few connections with each other. As a consequence we may not be developing a strong voice to make a significant impact on the wider psychological scene. And our relative isolation can disconnect us from the most important constructivist principle of collaboration - participating in the joint action of co-construing experience,  so that we may fail to live up to the principles we teach. We aim to become constructivist teachers rather than just teachers of constructivism.

What we propose

The European Constructivist Training Network aims to connect those across Europe involved in teaching constructivist/constructionist psychology and psychotherapy, creating a network of people, societies, and training centres with shared aims and values who can help each other develop and thrive.
This network is not in competition with local or national associations, but aims to construct a “pattern that connects” – to become a catalyst organization which respects existing identities, promotes collaboration, encourages the exchange of ideas and training opportunities, and helps articulate and raise constructivist voices by joining forces. Rather than determining specific goals for the network, we simply offer a framework for a living network to evolve.
Our network is based on the following principles

Participation is based on mutual goodwill and shared interests, and all institutions in the network have equal opportunities and rights. There are no membership fees or regulations.

Members will be open to exploring the exchange of ideas, skills, and resources and over time we hope to create opportunities for collaboration in a variety of ways. This may include
  • developing constructivist theories and methods in our training practice,
  • helping new courses develop,
  • offering teaching to each others’ programmes
  • facilitating exchanges of students,
  • offering joint  modules and summer schools to enhance our courses,
  • sharing learning materials and methods,
  • critiquing our own practice as teachers,
  • developing constructivist approaches  to formal aspects of education such as syllabus development and assessment procedures
Differences in view are welcomed as they help us create a more comprehensive voice. We are aware of our differences and wish to respect and enjoy them while encouraging constructive challenge and critique.
Although there are many technical and administrative issues to solve in contemporary education (regulation, standards, competencies, academic affiliation, shared recognition of qualifications etc), we do not want to preempt them too quickly. Instead we want to explore these issues together, respecting both our common needs and interests, and also the specific difficulties of each member institution or association.
The shared  language of the network is English.

© Jörn Scheer  2017
Last update 29 June 2018
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