Publication 2795

Kenny V. (1989) Anticipating autopoiesis: Personal construct psychology and self-organizing systems. In: Goudsmit A. L. (ed.) Self-organization in psychotherapy: Demarcations of a new perspective. Springer, Berlin: 100–133. Fulltext at
George Kelly’s theory of personal construct psychology is introduced in the context of comparisons with the radical constructivism theory of Ernst von Glasersfeld and the autopoietic theory of Humberto Maturana. Personal construct theory, although written in the decade up to 1955, anticipates in detail many of the epistemological and praxis issues currently concerning practitioners of psychotherapy. Following the comparative introduction, the formal aspects of Kelly’s theory, namely, the Fundamental Postulate and elaborative Corollaries, are explicated within the framework provided by Maturana’s theory. In this the chapter focusses upon the themes of change and stability within self-organizing systems. Finally, specific comments are addressed to the implementation of these theoretical prescriptions in the therapeutic relationship.

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