From time to time, I receive emails I feel should be answered in a public forum, like this blog. I got this email Sunday:
My email is about something called “constructivism.” I’ve been reading up on narrative [psychology], and I see the word constructivism used often.
Can you explain what that means in psychology terms? I want to make sure I completely understand it all before choosing it as a therapy model.
– Just Wondering
Thank you for the email. I will explain, yes. 🙂
Constructivism—in psychology terms—is essentially “meaning making.”
What this “means” (sorry for the pun) is that if a therapy model is based in constructivism, its most rudimentary approach will be that of something called “meaning reconstruction.” We find this with narrative counseling and its approach to grief.
The basic concept is this: If we can reconstruct the meaning of our loss from the onset of our counseling experience, we can then better externalize the pain we feel, eliminate the void we imagine, and conceive better outcomes all in all.
Constructivism is especially powerful when dealing with things like grief, abandonment, or betrayal. But it takes a therapist skilled in the art of meaning reconstruction to render this approach fruitful.
Hope that helps.
Until next time…