Constructivist Psychotherapies  (Psych 7434/8434)

Intervening in meaning

Different theories of psychotherapy frame the nature of our lives and their transformation in quite different terms, and accordingly suggest a wide variety of practices for the creative clinician.  As an approach that has deeply humanistic roots as well as a capacity to integrate with cognitive behavioral, systemic and discursive traditions to therapy, constructivism encourages attention to intervening in meaning as well as action, and brings to bear a wide variety of narrative, reflective and expressive change processes in this effort.  Using videos of actual therapy, live demonstrations and frequent experiential exercises, we will study:

  • alternative forms of psychological inquiry that complement standard psychology and draw on creative forms of writing

  • lifestyle construction, engaging clients' deep themes that seek expression in meaningful relationships and careers

  • personal construct theory, the original constructivist therapy, which uses imaginative enactment procedures to experiment with new identities

  • emotion focused therapy, which uses evocative experiential work to reconstruct emotion schemas

  • narrative therapy, with its concern to resist problem-saturated accounts of client identities and free them to seek preferred alternatives

  • coherence therapy, which helps clients unlock the hidden commitments that sustain familiar symptoms and struggles

What you should know

Class schedule:
Monday, 9:00-12:00 am, Spring 2018

208 Psychology, U Memphis

Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD

Teaching Assistant:
Jamison Bottomley