Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 410-411

Constructivist Psychotherapy

  • Bernadette Hassan SolórzanoAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Our Lady of the Lake University Community Counseling Service


Constructivist family therapy; Developmental constructivism; Narrative therapy; Personal constructs; Postmodernism; Relativistic philosophy; Social constructivism; Systemic therapy


Constructivist therapies are theories of change that place clients in the role of meaning makers and active participants in their own lives. There are multiple ways of understanding any one given situation [1]. How each person interprets a situation is influenced by their previous life’s experiences. Even then, it is possible to focus on one piece of a situation and apply meaning, but if you change focus, a completely different meaning may be discovered. Constructivist therapies moved away from the deficit model that labels and pathologizes. The therapist’s role shifted from an expert, didactic position to one of collaboration and exploring to assist the client in uncovering their strengths and resources. The role of language and meaning making is a large part of the therap ...

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