Elaborating Children’s Constructions through Story Telling

Publication Name

Journal of Constructivist Psychology


When children’s feelings are painful or too difficult, story telling can provide an avenue for children to begin to make sense of how and why they are feeling and behaving the way they are. The personal construct approach to child psychotherapy encourages children to communicate through story telling to themselves and to the therapist who is credulously listening and observing those family stories that are shaping the children’s lives. The approach guides children to elaborate on existing constructions that are wrapped up in their stories, to then encourage experimentation in making sense of meanings, of expanding on these meanings, and considering other ways of making sense of personal relationships, providing a time for reflection on feelings and ways of being. It is hoped this account of story telling from a personal construct approach will illustrate how the psychological processes embedded in these stories can lead children in psychotherapy to new possibilities, new ways of tackling and overcoming seemingly insurmountable problems, and to new ways of being.

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