Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Social Construction and Therapeutic Practices

  • Kenneth J. GergenEmail author
  • Mary Gergen
  • Ottar Ness
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_892

Social constructionist ideas have influenced the development of therapeutic practices – both directly and indirectly – in a range of significant ways. At the most general level, the most important contribution of constructionism is the recognition that largely through language, humans generate meaning together and that meaning and action are closely interwoven. The concern with the social basis of meaning making is realized in a wide range of therapeutic practices, including narrative therapy (White and Epston 1990), postmodern therapy (Anderson 1997), constructivist therapy (Neimeyer and Raskin 2001), solution-focused or brief therapy (de Shazer 1994), various forms of collaborative therapy (Anderson and Gehart 2006; Madsen 2007), dialogic family therapy (Rober 2005), and dialogic self-therapy (Hermans and Dimaggio 2007), among others. A range of significant questions has emerged with this orientation: In what important ways does a constructionist shift disrupt or draw from existing...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swarthmore CollegePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Penn StateBrandywineUSA
  3. 3.University College of Southeast NorwayNotoddenNorway

Section editors and affiliations

  • Margarita Tarragona
    • 1
  1. 1.PositivaMente & Grupo Campos ElíseosMexico CityMexico