Summary

For approximately half a century, constructivist and humanistic therapies have provided viable alternatives to the psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural traditions. Although, with the exception of personal construct psychotherapy, humanistic approaches initially were the most prominent in this trend, constructivist approaches have flourished in the more recent climate of postmodernism. Some of these latter approaches, combining humanistic values with the use of diagnostic constructs and methods of assessment of the individual's view of the world, may be considered to provide what Rychlak (1977) has termed a 'rigorous humanism'. Within the humanistic therapies, there has been a trend to develop rather more focused approaches than some of the original, non-directive methods. Although there has been some resistance within both the constructivist and the humanistic school to empirical research, both approaches have developed research methods consistent with their particular models and there is now a growing evidence base indicating the effectiveness of some particular constructivist and humanistic approaches, notably personal construct psychotherapy and process-experiential therapy.

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