Constructivist Psychotherapy

A Narrative Hermeneutic Approach

By Gabriele Chiari, Maria Laura Nuzzo

© 2009 – Routledge

232 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415413138
pub: 2009-09-24
US Dollars$42.95
Hardback: 9780415413121
pub: 2009-09-24
US Dollars$135.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Psychotherapy has undergone major changes in recent years, with a variety of new approaches including cognitive-behavioural therapy joining the more traditional and widespread schools of thought. These new approaches all share the epistemological assumption of constructivism, which states that there are alternative ways of looking at events and that we interpret events according to how we see the world.

Constructivist Psychotherapy reviews the constructivist trends in psychotherapy which link these new approaches, allowing the reader to enter an entirely new dialogue. The book traces constructivist thought, elaborating on Kelly’s personal construct theory and the implications for psychotherapeutic theory and practice.

Areas of discussion include:

  • the therapist’s understanding of the client’s narrative
  • a constructivist understanding of the person
  • psychological constructivism and constructivist trends in psychotherapy

Setting constructivist psychotherapy within its therapeutic, social and philosophical context and using case studies throughout, the book revisits 'Kellian' ideas and theories, bringing them up to date, to explore what it is to be a constructivist psychotherapist today. As such this book will be of interest to all psychotherapists, as well as anyone with an interest in the psychotherapeutic field.


"This book represents the culmination of over a quarter of a century of careful work by the authors in developing their particular approach to constructivist psychotherapy. Not only does it contain an unusually detailed exposition of the assumptions underlying the approach, but it is also a rich source of clinical wisdom, which will be of great value to both trainees and more experienced therapists." - David Winter, University of Hertfordshire and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, UK.

"At last, a book series that will help to make the ideal of effective continuing professional development in the fields of psychotherapy and counselling more of a reality. Without being partisan or requiring an unrealistically high level of existing knowledge, the books offer a unique opportunity for experienced practitioners and advanced students to encounter the cutting edge of theory in their particular theoretical model." - Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex.

"A stunning little book, deceptively simple and straightforward; this book should be required reading for students and practitioners who wish to offer therapeutic help to those suffering from various losses and emotional upheavals, distresses that are frequently diagnosed as mental illness. Neimeyer is an adept student of psychotherapeutic theories, and he nimbly inserts various theoretical ideas within the chapters. An exciting and generative alternative for people seeking happier lives." --Mary Gergen, Ph.D., in PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 54, Release 45

Table of Contents

Preface. Personal Construct Psychotherapy: Forerunner of Constructivist Psychotherapies. Psychological Constructivism and Constructivist Trends in Psychotherapy. A Constructivist Understanding of the Person. The Therapist’s Understanding of the Client’s Narrative. The Therapist’s Construction of the Client’s Narrative. An Ontological Venture: The Psychotherapy Process.

About the Authors

Gabriele Chiari is Professor at the Centre for Studies in Constructivist-oriented Cognitive Psychotherapy in Florence, and Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florence. He is an editorial board member of The Journal of Constructivist Psychology.

Maria Laura Nuzzo (1946-2005) was a clinical psychologist and chartered psychotherapist and President of the Italian Association of Constructivist Psychology and Psychotherapy (AIPPC).

About the Series

Advancing Theory in Therapy

Most books covering individual therapeutic approaches are aimed at the trainee/student market.

This series, however, is concerned with advanced and advancing theory, offering the reader comparative and comparable coverage of a number of therapeutic approaches.

Aimed at professionals and postgraduates, Advancing Theory in Therapy will cover an impressive range of theories.

With full reference to case studies throughout, each book in the series will:

  • present cutting edge research findings
  • locate each theory and its application within its cultural context
  • develop a critical view of theory and practice.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling