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Australasian Personal Construct
From: Personal Construct Interest Group and We are all looking forward to meeting you at the Brisbane conference. If you haven’t been before you will find it very different in feel from many other conferences - very supportive and easy to get to meet everyone. If you haven’t yet registered you need to contact Barbara Tooth quickly - 07 3367 3379, [email protected]. We are also anticipating a stimulating and enjoyable visit from Greg Neimeyer. Details of his workshops in Wollongong are enclosed. He will be repeating a one-day workshop in Brisbane. The prices are the same. Although at the moment we have an introductory workshop down for Brisbane, if, as seems likely, people wanting to do it are more experienced, Greg will adapt that workshop to suit the participants. Once again, if you want to do it in Brisbane, contact Barbara. Professional Development points from the Australian Psychological Society have been applied for for the clinical, counseling and educational boards. Barbara has sent a timetable for key events to help people plan their comings Greg's and Peter's workshops start at 9am on the Saturday 4th. Greg's finishes at 5pm and Peter's at 1pm. Conference Registration 5-6pm Saturday and 8-9am Sunday Conference Opening 9am Sunday and Closes Tuesday 4pm. Executive Committee meeting Saturday 6pm. Welcome drinks early Sunday evening Conference dinner Monday 7.30pm at ABOUT FACE Symposium Monday 9-10am. Daily sessions start at 9am and finish at 5.30pm Sunday, 5pm Monday and Notice of Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 7th July 9am. Bardon Conference Centre, Brisbane.


Nominations are called for the committee of the Personal Construct Interest Group.
Office bearers required are President, Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, plus
there are two other members currently. The Secretary has indicated that she will not
be standing for election. Since this is a part of the Australian Psychological Society
office bearers must be full members of the society. Nominations should be sent in
writing to the secretary, Barbara Tooth by 26 June.
Dear friends,
I’d like to invite you to have a look into the First International Internet PCP
Photo Album.
It is at the site:
Have fun!

Those present were: Michael Thong, Cara Jones (Ranulph's Masters student), Chris Laming, Suzanne Kell, Vivienne Decleva, John Reid, Prasuna Reddy & me. Apologies were received from: Richard Bell (who was heading for the EPCA conference in Chester the next day and still writing his paper), Julie Ellis, Vikki Stott & Bernie Closs. We changed the venue at the last minute to allow for more space and left notices in that regard, but I hope no-one missed out through being lost. After chatting with Ranulph for a while about the place of constructivism in teaching architecture students, we undertook the exercise: objects on the floor. We had been asked to bring three small moveable objects which had visual appeal for us - it was fascinating to note the different prepared and unprepared choices. Then in small groups, three objects from the group's pool of objects were selected for each member to place on a chalk line on the floor with five gradations such that two objects construed as alike were placed at one end and the third, construed as different, at the other. Then that member located the other pooled group objects along the 5-point scale on the floor. The whole exercise was non-verbal. Each group member carried out this part of the exercise three times so that, despite no speaking, the others could endeavour to construe each other's constructions. Next, the group arranged all the objects as they believed each group member would do it and the person whose constructions were being construed by the group assented, or more often dissented, with the group's appraisal. It was fascinating also to observe the differences between the groups. One which comprised more practitioners was unconstrained by the line and added an orthogonal dimension whereas the other, comprised of academics, adhered to one plane. There were differences also in the levels of intensity as well as in the chosen objects: the former more intense group included a toy gun, a plastic hand and computer parts whereas the latter included pretty and personal objects, photos and parts of living plants. Eventually, the first group invaded the others, shifting their objects and inserting their own. Of course the construing process is contingent upon the elements being construed but undoubtedly other contingencies influenced the differential group behaviours. Ranulph noted that when the late Don Bannister did this exercise in 1979 at the 3rd PCP Congress at Nijenrode, Netherlands, Don was intensely overwhelmed when others construed his construction of his objects differently from his personal constructs. This event was a great learning experience, my only regret being that it was Our next meeting on a Friday in mid June at the Swinburne Centre for Psychological Services has yet to be confirmed. It will be an occasion for people presenting in Brisbane to have a test run of their papers.Anyone interested could give me a ring on 9479 5799 or send an email and I'll contact them when details of the meeting are confirmed.

Berlin / Germany, July 26th to 30th, 1999

German Personal Construct Group
(Deutsche Arbeitsgruppe zur Psychologie der Persˆnlichen Konstrukte -
Department of Medical Psychology, University of Giessen, Germany
First Announcement

The 13th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology is
devoted to the Psychology of Personal Constructs originated by George A.
Kelly and further developed by Don Bannister, Fay Fransella, Al Landfield and
many others. It is the first one to be held in Germany.
Personal Construct Psychology
For the last 25 years, the International Congresses on Personal Construct
Psychology have provided a forum for discussing the ideas presented first by
George Alexander Kelly in 1955 in his groundbreaking work The Psychology
of Personal Constructs. Kelly stressed the importance of the meanings that
individuals attach to persons and events in the world surrounding them, and
introduced Repertory Grid Technique as the prime research tool to explore
these individual meanings. The Psychology of Personal Constructs was
originally conceived as "a theory of personality" as the subtitle of the first
volume of Kelly’s monumental work indicates. "Clinical diagnosis and
psychotherapy", the subtitle of volume two, shows Kelly¥s focus in the clinical
field. However, since then the range of application of the theory has
transcended the boundaries of clinical psychology, and even of psychology as
a whole. Cognitive science, education, architecture, nursing, social work,
organisational development, sociology, even theology are among the
disciplines in which the personal construct approach has proved fruitful. Kelly
saw already personal constructs of the world as modified by common
experiences of people and stressed the importance of "construing other
persons’ constructions". Now it is even more evident that Personal Construct
Theory is a theory of "the person in society".
While in 1955 Kelly was considered very much an outsider to the mainstream
of psychology, the last decade has seen the rise of a "constructivist"
movement in psychology as well as in other disciplines. This move has made
the personal construct approach appear quite modern - although some see it
more as "postmodern". Some theoreticians even recommend the absorption
of Personal Construct Psychology into or its amalgamation with contemporary
constructivism, while others maintain that Personal Construct Theory by virtue
of its own theoretical power and practical applicability can still provide
important contributions to the "human sciences" in the broadest sense of the
Objectives of the Congress
Recent International Congresses have explored in depth the relationships of
Personal Construct Psychology to other constructivist theories. We think it
appropriate now to look at the challenges posed to Personal Construct Theory
itself both from the outside and from within. Among the challenges from the
outside are: What has PCP to offer researchers and
practitioners in view of the demands of rapidly changing societies at the
change of the
millennium? And from the internal perspective: Is a theory that was conceived
50 years ago as such prepared to meet these challenges? Or does it need
overhauling, re-definition or extension? Hopefully, the plenary debates, the
symposia and the workshops to be held during the congress will help answer
these questions.
Format of the Congress
There will be plenary sessions with invited speakers, symposia focussing on a
large number of applications of Personal Construct Theory, poster sessions,
and workshops where in-depth explorations of theoretical and practical
aspects are facilitated. Inevitably there will be multiple concurrent sessions.
To really permit more interaction and discussion there will be more time
allotted to the single paper presentations than usual.
Submission of Papers
Participants are invited to suggest plenary presentations, papers, workshops,
symposia, posters etc. The deadline for the submission of contributions will
probably be in January, 1999.
The congress is organised by the German Personal Construct Group
(Deutsche Arbeitsgruppe zur Psychologie der Persˆnlichen Konstrukte -
DPPK) and the Department of Medical Psychology at the University of
Giessen whose support is gratefully acknowledged.
Organising Committee
* Christine Altstˆtter-Gleich, Dept. of Psychology, University of Landau
* Norbert Ammermann, Psychiatric Hospital, Lengerich
* Ursula Bartholomew-G¸nther, Berlin
* Ana Catina, Centre for Psychotherapy Research, Stuttgart
* Rolf Deubner, Dept. of Medical Psychology, University of Giessen
* Jˆrn W. Scheer, Dept. of Medical Psychology, University of Giessen (Chair)
* Ulrike Willutzki, Dept. of Clinical Psychology, University of Bochum
The congress will begin at lunchtime on Monday, July 26th, 1999, and will end
after breakfast on Saturday, July 30th, 1999.

Congress Venue

The congress will be a held in a Conference Centre in Berlin-Wannsee
(Bildungs- und Begegnungszentrum der Gewerkschaft ÷TV).
Accommodation will be available for most participants at the congress venue
itself. Other
accommodation will be available near the congress site.
Congress Web Site
A Congress Web Site which will contain the necessary information will be
accessible probably from May 1998 on. It will be attached to the Web Site of
the German Personal Construct Group:
All inquiries about the conference should be directed to:
Prof. Dr. Jˆrn W. Scheer
Dept. of Medical Psychology, University of Giessen, Friedrichstrasse 36,
D-35392 Giessen, Germany
Phone: +49-641-99-45682 / Fax: +49-641-99-45689
email: [email protected]
6. TONY MINCHIN (1942-1998)

Sad news from the Western Australian PCP group.
Tony Minchin died earlier this year. Many past and
present psychologists at the Department of Community
Services have appreciated Tony’s support for the PCP
approach in assessment and therapy. During his course on
child and Adolescent Therapy for the UWA Master’s
Clinical degree, he arranged for Janet Bayliss, one of
the PCP group, to run a workshop each year as an
introduction to PCP. This continued until he retired.
Consequently many students were able to obtain a working
knowledge of this approach, which otherwise would not
have been available. Tony will be sadly missed by his
family, friends, and colleagues.
The WA group recently held a Dorothy Rowe workshop on Depression. Miriam Stein produced a summary of the day, reproduced here briefly. • Three experiential tasks - laddering. • Article on addictive properties of Prozac • working with depression - images of depression • Her model - how people get depressed • Personal experiences (private or shared) - How do you feel when depressed? How would you paint a picture of your feelings of • The paradox of the theme- a thread common to all; yet as individuals, no person’s meaning is the same as another • challenge to a genetic theory of depression • Her model - the view of the self - the realizqatin between what one • three ways of construing why things go wrong - my fault; someone • How to work to help the person out of the prison of depression - how constructs have been built up - what we can make of life and death In conclusion the workshop emphasised that WE ARE OUR MEANING STRUCTURES - THE SUM OF EVERYTHING. The meaning structure has to fall apart before change can take place. When this is imminent, anziety, fear, hostility or anger may surface. A lively and thoughtful discussion followed. I noted Tony Jonikis’ remark that therapy can restart the Experience Cycle to initiate change. Also Viv Bainbridge’s comment that althought the behaviours of two people can look the same, they may arise from different core construct - important



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