Standard Article

Constructivist Psychotherapy

  1. Larry M. Leitner,
  2. Julie R. Lonoff

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0222

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Leitner, L. M. and Lonoff, J. R. 2010. Constructivist Psychotherapy. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Miami University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Constructivism refers to a group of theories (originally stemming from Kelly's personal construct theory [1955]) holding the philosophical position that so-called reality is, in some ways, created by persons. Rather than imposing some objective truth on persons seeking help, constructivist therapists attempt experientially to grasp the lived reality of each client. This relationship is more egalitarian and client-empowering than approaches in which the more powerful therapist imposes diagnostic and treatment “realities” on the less powerful client. Constructivist psychotherapy can be seen as a part of the broader group of humanistic, existential, and postmodern therapies.