Publication 5459

Friedman M. (1995) Constructivism, psychotherapy, and the dialogue of touchstones. Journal of Constructivist Psychology 8(4): 283–292.
Beginning with the question of why the social constructivist approach to psychotherapy excludes uniqueness, whereas the dialogical approach, which is also a social construct, includes it, I reject the eitherlor of a substantive, essential self on the one hand and mere role playing on the other. I also demonstrate that Gergen’s “dialogue”, which is really the dialectic interplay of minds, cannot lead to harmony unless it is embodied in a real, caring community that confirms concrete otherness. As a third alternative to the social constructivist’s eitherlor, I put forward the “dialogue of touchstones” with its integral relation between dialogue and uniqueness and the tension between personal calling and social role that follows from it.
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