Efran J. S. & Fauber R. L. (1995) Radical constructivism: Questions and answers. In: Neimeyer R. A. & Mahoney M. J. (eds.) Constructivism in psychotherapy. American Psychological Association, Washington DC: 275–304.
Barbara Held has taken postmodern therapists to task for making “reality claims” when they have presumably committed themselves to an antirealist epistemology. She is concerned that by focusing so exclusively on individual client narratives, they ignore important aspects of the client’s “extralinguistic” world. Held suggests that constructivist therapists adopt a “modest realism” within which they could (a) tailor therapy methods to individual clients, (b) further systemize therapeutic principles, (c) give extralinguistic reality its due, and (d) make truth claims. The authors argue that the problems she identifies derive largely from the distinctions with which she insists on framing the debate. They agree that constructivists are not always crystal clear about the implications of their epistemology, but it would accomplish little if they were to retreat to the realist posture she proposes.
Efran J. S. & Lukens M. D. (1985) The world according to Humberto Maturana. Family Therapy Networker 9: 23–28. https://cepa.info/3751
Discusses H. R. Maturana’s (1980) theory of structure determinism and the implications of this theory for family therapy. Propositions of Maturana’s theory are outlined, and implications for the understanding of causality, descriptions of life’s purposes, and clinical practice are described. Maturana’s theory suggests that all problems are in language and that symptoms cannot be seen as having objective meanings or absolute purposes. Another implication is that family therapists cannot speak to families, but only to an individual or to several individuals. The operation of Alcoholics Anonymous is offered as an illustration of Maturana’s theory. It is concluded that a future challenge for family therapists is to shed the myth that they directly instruct, change, control, treat, or cure people.
Efran J. S., Lukens R. J. & Lukens M. D. (1988) Constructivism: What’s in it for you? Family Therapy Networker 12(5): 26–35.
Efran J. S., McNamee S., Warren B. & Raskin J. D. (2014) Personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism: A dialogue. Journal of Constructivist Psychology 27: 1–13. https://cepa.info/989
This article presents a dialogue about personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism. The dialogue is based on a symposium conducted in July 2011 at the 19th International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology. Jay Efran, Sheila McNamee, and Bill Warren were the participants, with Jonathan Raskin as moderator. The dialogue addresses points of contact and divergence across these three theories, how these theories deal with the issue of relativism, and how theorists from these three perspectives might best “go on” together. Relevance: The paper covers the relationship between radical constructivism and personal construct psychology and social constructionism.
Gordon D. E. & Efran J. S. (1997) Therapy and the dance of language. In: Sexton T. L. & Griffin B. L. (eds.) Constructivist thinking in counseling practice, research, and training. Teachers College Press, New York: 101–110.