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George Kelly

George Kelly

  • Fay Fransella - Centre for Personal Construct Psychology, London

November 1995 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
George Kelly's personal construct theory, first published in 1955, is as radical today as it was then. Describing how each one of us goes about our daily life trying to make sense of the events around us, it maintains that we are in charge of what we do in the world, that we do not merely react to events.

This book reveals that George Kelly was a man of enormous intellect, of many talents and of great complexity. Fay Fransella outlines how his views have influenced the theory and practice of psychotherapy, and illustrates how his training in physics and mathematics influenced his theory and led to the development of one of his methods of measurement - the repertory grid.

The book also describes Kelly's philosophy of constructive alternativism, which suggests that we have created and can therefore recreate ourselves, and that what is true for the individual, rather than some external truth, is what matters. This philosophy can be seen as a precursor of the current emphasis on constructivism. Criticisms of Kelly's work and examples of work carried out within this framework since his death are also featured.

The Life of George Kelly
Major Contributions to Theory
Major Contributions to Practice
Criticisms and Rebuttals
The Overall Influence of George Kelly
A Select Bibliography of Kelly's Works

`Fransella offers a very good introduction to PCT and provides an intriguing portrait of Kelly "the man". This book is accessible to... students, as well as any interested professional. Kelly said that the longevity of a theory is related to its usefulness. Applying this same criterion to a book, Fransella's George Kelly may well be read for many years to come' - Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy

`It is hard to think of anyone better suited to writing a biography of George Kelly than Fay Fransella and throughout the book I was entertained, educated and - above all - keen to keep on reading. Not only did the picture contain breadth and depth, but I am sure Kelly himself would have been very satisfied to find himself so well portrayed within the framework of his own theory... I found this book a fascinating read and I remain astounded that one man could produce such a complete and complex theory. Because of his very private nature Kelly is a very hard man to understand, but I feel that Fay Fransella has written a most enjoyable, refreshing text designed to elaborate my understanding of PCP by gaining some insight into the creator' - European Journal of Disorders of Communication

`This publication places Personal Construct Theory into a historical and professional context. It places Kelly's thinking into an evolutionary link with social, political and psychological developments. The implications for practice are clearly explored and related to personal and social value systems. Implications for equality and power issues within the counselling relationship make this a useful book for linking the theory with current professional developments and dilemmas. Comparing and contrasting the nature of the therapeutic relationship within Kelly's theoretical framework and the traditional psychoanalytic and medical framework will enable students of counselling theory to gain understanding of the contributions to the profession Kelly has made. It brings the personality of Kelly alive and sets the scene for his own struggles with incorporating mind and body... This is a book to be recommended for those studying counselling theory and for practitioners who wish to reconsider some of the more complex professional issues' - Counselling News

`A carefully researched account... Fransella's inclusion of material from some of Kelly's unpublished works and of his poetry, and her thorough and up-to-date references, suggest that this book will have a wider appeal than just to those wishing to become acquainted with Kelly and his theory. By specifying particular psychological problems with which personal construct psychology has proved useful, I believe she also succeeds in showing that according to Kelly's own criterion of the success of a theory, personal construct theory has not yet outlived its usefulness. Indeed the suggested application of constructivism to organic problems offers exciting possibilities for the future' - European Personal Construct Association Newsletter

`I really enjoy reading the books in the Key Figures series and this book was as interesting as the ones before it... A book well worth reading' - British Psychological Society Counselling Psychology Review

`For those interested in finding out what Personal Construct Therapy is and how is can be used by the speech and language therapist... [this book] provides interesting insights into the person behind the very abstract theory. The snapshots of Kelly's life serve to make it more personal and accessible... this is a book for those... involved in psychotherapy and counselling, who would be interested in further background information to support their current knowledge' - Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Bulletin

`A very good book... it covers all the points well' - Self & Society

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ISBN: 9780803984950
ISBN: 9780803984943