in conversation

a library of conversations with friends and colleagues working with personal construct psychology in non-clinical settings



sally robbins – ‘recognising your strengths’

” It felt like a kind of archeology – brushing away at the sand, remembering things done and achieved in the past. At times, you could see people sit up straighter, have a different tone in their voice: ’yes, I did that!’. We were finding things that remained – they were not lost, just not much used.”


lucia andreatta between italy and england, reflections on language & culture

“In the beginning I think the either/or of England and Italy was very apparent, but as my Nordic self has developed, the two aspects are more merged now. My anticipations were quite loose when I first arrived here, and not so complex. It has been a deeper, more important experience that I anticipated”

chris walker – pcp in educational psychology

“I had no preconceptions of what their theories should be – if teachers believed children to be empty vessels needing to be filled, so be it – the important thing was for them to become aware of their theories, articulate them coherently, and understand the implications, and limitations, for teaching practice”

fiona duggan – a constructivist approach to people, place & design

“The most rewarding projects are those that find their voice in ways which surprise and delight everyone involved. In the words of one client, we didn’t expect to end up here, but what a great place to be. Unexpected things happen when users and buildings learn how to listen to each other”


barbara simpson – pcp & leadership in the business school

“I find myself increasingly puzzling about organisational life and I believe business leaders are puzzling too. I work best where we can puzzle together – hoping for insight rather than quick answers. When I go in to organisations I am usually impressed by how well they are doing their thing, so my approach is different from that of many others”

john fisher – training in organisations using pcp

“People respond because they really want to make sense of what goes on in their teams and with colleagues, and to understand themselves better. The groups are generally full of comments like ‘now I see what he’s been talking about’ and ‘right, that’s why he’s thinking like that!’ There’s a lot of curiosity and interest in the people side that isn’t explored anywhere else”

liz thomson – developing education projects across cultures

“He asked ‘what could be achieved?’ I replied that ’I can’t tell you that’. I said it was perhaps a leap of faith, that by working together we would find out what might work and that was our purpose. I agreed that he was free to turn against it, and that I could pack my suitcase and leave, or we could try something. He looked very hard and then said…OK”

helen jones – a life in pcp practice

“The principles of Warmth and Light, Support and Challenge underpinned these work groups and working with a climate of questioning rather than debating. I think this is where the commonality grew – through recognising and accepting difference rather than expecting similarity”

erica costantini – developing creativity through arts in organisations

“I find that working with the energy of the artists is completely refreshing. Their emphasis is on creating something new, on trying things, always moving forward. Our meetings are quite different from the usual effort of meetings in organisations. They are are much shorter, and more energising – I come away replenished rather than drained!”

susan bridi – experiments with ‘open space’ and the ‘experience factory’

“I liked the way it offered people the opportunity to work on what they felt committed to, and to start where their energy was; to let people explore where they want to go with it, and which are the most important aspects for them. They are usually much better at pinpointing the key issues because they are exploring their own worlds”

alex swarbrick – a pcp approach to ‘resistance’ to change

“Change is built into PCP.  Kelly wrote: “all of our present interpretations of the universe are subject to revision or replacement”. The theory implies that organisations, like the rest of the universe, are continually in process. Neither organisations nor the people employed by them are static and inert objects waiting for some external force to nudge them into action”

shenaz kelly rawat – executive coaching using pcp

“The loosening stage is often difficult – ambiguity and complexity are hard to face. There is huge fear about letting go – organisational culture is often a culture of control and so delegation is often resisted. Coaching conversations can help by providing a place for loosening, for propositionality, for asking ‘what if’ and trying on ideas”

dorota bourne – pcp coaching and research

“In my research I realised how many answers and insights the opposite pole can offer, especially at the core level. PCP is a framework which enables us to really focus and to appreciate other people’s construing, and as a result it leads us to more understanding and less judgmental forms of communication”


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