The monthly DiS podcast

Show notes with references are below. You can listen to all the episodes on You Tube if you don't use a podcast app.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Sunday, February 27, 2022

Ian is a PCP psychotherapist and a social worker who has been using a PCP approach throughout his career. He talks about his journey to date and how he uses PCP in his daily work. 

Ian’s contact details are Ian Gillman-Smith, Independent Social Work Consultant, UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker 




Peggy Dalton & Gavin Dunnett (2005) A Psychology for Living ISBN 0-471-93549-2

Miller Mair (2014) Another Way of Knowing: The Poetry of Psychological Inquiry.

Winter & Reed (Eds.) (2014) Towards a Radical Redefinition of Psychology: The selected works of Miller Mair (World Library of Mental Health).

Fay Fransella (2021) Inquiring Man: The Psychology of Personal Constructs. (3rd Edition)

Sunday, January 30, 2022

This month I re-read Tom Ravenette’s paper, Who are you? A structure for exploring a ‘sense of self’ (1989) and was reminded how creative Tom was and how good he was at designing PCP techniques. This is a paper which describes his exploration process, something he developed from what he learned from his practice. So, that is the topic for today’s episode. 

A copy of the technique can be found at this link: Read it here

If you would like to get Tom Ravenette’s book, you can find out more here: Personal Construct Theory in Educational Psychology.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

This episode is an interview with Jenny Newland. Jenny is a psychotherapist but she is also a maths tutor and coaches kayaking - a rare combination I expect! We talk about how she came to PCP and how she uses a PCP approach in her three different roles. If you would like to explore more or get in touch with Jenny:

For therapy and getting in touch

For kayaking

For maths

Her maths animations are on You Tube:

Dancing Triangles:

Angles and Polygons:

Monday, November 29, 2021

It is coming up to the new year and you might be thinking of making some changes in your life - maybe starting something, or stopping something. I thought it could be useful to think about Kelly’s version of aggressiveness which has a different meaning from the dictionary definition. Exploring the implication of changes before making them will help you to anticipate their potential impact - your own and other people’s construing may not be similar. I have tried to find a useful reference about implications grids but there is nothing easily found online to go with the chapter references below.

I think you could do a really simple implications exploration by noting the implications of the change for the people below. Remember the last podcast about roles and think about construe your change or development and how they might respond to you.

You Your partner Your immediate family (may be parents/children/siblings) Your work colleagues Your friends Other relevant peopleIf you could like a reminder of Kelly’s definition of anxiety, listen to the September 2021 edition.

Implications grid

The Great British Sewing Bee BBC TV  - just in case you have never seen it

Sunday, October 31, 2021

We all have roles to play, some more comfortably than others. This NEW technique is a variation on Drawing the Ideal Self for use with adults, children and young people. It explores a role (e.g. sister, parent, athlete, teacher, reader) and can be used to find ways to move forward in the role or to set personal targets. It may be useful to professionals to explore with people they try to help but it can also be used by an individual in their personal development. 

Friday, October 1, 2021

This month's episode is rather seasonal: as the new school year starts, it is about Kelly's definition of anxiety and transition.

Inquiring Man. The Psychology of Personal Constructs. Bannister and Fransella.

Ruby Tandoh Breaking Eggs Audio Guide

Monday, August 30, 2021

An interview with Abi Cohman and Cleo Timney, Trainee Educational Psychologists at Southampton University about The Children’s Exploratory Drawings (CEDS), their PCP technique to use in conversations and therapy with children and young people.  This builds upon the work of Tom Ravenette, modernising and expanding the resources so they are suited to today’s world. We also talk about the process of the developing a new technique. You can download the materials their website for free:

You can also email Abi and Cleo: 

You can come and meet Abi and Cleo at their workshop at the Coventry Constructivist Centre’s next CPD session on September 17th. It is a Zoom session and the cost is £5 to support the Zoom licence cost. Contact Sally Robbins to book a place: 

Linking back to June’s episode about understanding violent offenders, I think that the  BBC Radio 4 series Prison Break is really worth listening to: 

Thursday, July 29, 2021

As promised, this month’s episode is an interview with Cathy Sparkes, Speech and Language Therapist and PCP Counsellor/Psychotherapist. Cathy works with people with brain injury and talks about how she uses PCP in her work and the impact of brain injury on identity. Cathy offers supervision and coaching: The details for things she highlighted as useful are:

Dependency grid - Helen Jones:

Peggy Dalton’s book A Psychology for Living ISBN 0-471-93549-2

Cathy’s paper A personal construct approach to aphasia is published in Psychotherapy and Aphasia. Interventions for Emotional Wellbeing and Relationships, Eds Meredith and Yeates. 

Coventry Constructivist Centre’s CPD sessions are now available on the website. If you work with children and young people, the September one would be very interesting and if you want to know how to use PCP to help yourself, the December one is on selfcare and PCP. You can get on the mailing list for this by contacting Sally Robbins (and listen to her on this podcast in March 2021).

There are also online international Constructivist Meet Ups with videos of last year’s events that you can watch for free. Sessions are either talks with small group discussion afterwards, or workshops (the videos are of the talks or intro presentation only). The content varies in complexity and prior knowledge required. Some are what I would describe as highly technical or philosophical and some are very practical with ideas you can try out. There are a couple below that might be particularly useful and require little theoretical knowledge. If you have a dissertation or thesis to do in the next few years then watch The Extra-Ordinary Added Value of Conducting Research using Constructivist Approaches by Pam Denicolo, Marie-Louise Österlind, Shane Dowle & Kim Bradley-Cole. If you work with children and young people, then try Kelly in the Classroom: Making the Implicit Explicit by Vivienne Baumfield. 

To get onto the mailing list so you hear what is going to be on this year, you can contact Harry Procter, 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

This month’s episode is about a PCP approach to understanding violent offending. I watched a programme called Time by Jimmy McGovern on BBC TV and it got me thinking about this. I had read James Horley book some years ago and I re-read the chapter by David Winter because it made me think a great deal about the issues around it.


A credulous approach to violence and homicide by David A. Winter. Chapter 2 in Horley, J. (Ed.) (2003). Personal Construct Perspectives on Forensic Psychology. (Some cheap second hand copies are listed on Amazon UK).

 Making Sense with Offenders. Personal Constructs, Therapy and Change by Julia Houston (1998). (Watch the price on this - it is hugely expensive unless you but the secondhand copy!)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

This month I have an interview with Adele Pile, a speech and language therapist and PCP psychotherapist with many years’ experience of using PCP in her work. She talks about the value PCP has brought and the influences on her PCP journey. Adele is part of the Personal Construct Psychology Association, a UK association to promote and educate about PCP.  She works with Cathy Sparkes running a foundation course and PCP taster days through Cathy's website - You can view Adele’s profile on UKCP and email her on if you are wondering about supervision or training.

Saturday, May 1, 2021
I realised that we have not had a podcast session on learning, so today's is focussed on learning and reading. Tom Ravenette's paper, Reading difficulties and what else? (1969). Although it is an old paper, this is a good one because he emphasises the need to spend time in assessing the person's views of reading, the self and learning. Of course, everything Tom has to say about reading would also apply to learning other subjects.
Monday, March 29, 2021

This month’s podcast episode is an interview with Sally Robbins. You may know Sally as the organiser of the events at the Coventry Constructivist Centre (CCC) but you might not know much about how she came to PCP. Sally talks about her career path and her work with older people. Sally is the key contact for the CCC

Sally and Diane Allen are facilitating the next quarterly study day on June 18th, on Zoom, 2-4pm: Who cares, and how? Construing the transition to caring roles. Find out more at

Click the You Tube link above to listen to this an the other the podcast episodes.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

This month’s podcast has a focus on experience. Experience is vital to our construing of ourselves and I thought a lot about this as I read Matt Haig’s novel, The Midnight Library. The other book mentioned in this episode is Diane Allen and Peter Cummins’ new book, A Beginners’s Guide to Personal Construct Therapy with Adults and Couples (2021).

Sunday, January 31, 2021

This month’s episode is about a paper by Tom Ravenette, Educational Psychologist and PCP interventionist. The paper presents a challenge to those of us who are in roles where people seek advice from us. The paper is ‘Never, never, never give advice’: an essay in professional practice (1980). If you work in a situation where you might be asked for your advice, Tom urges caution and has some suggestions for alternatives.


Ravenette, T. (1999). Personal Construct Theory in Educational Psychology. A Practitioner’s View.

Dixit cards


Talking Pictures - Thinking Through Photographs

Friday, January 1, 2021

This month’s episode is focussed on Finn Tschudi’s ABC. This is a great tool for exploring change to a preferred pole of a construct and elaborating some of the barriers to change. I use two examples and talk through them in the podcast. There are a couple of references you may want to follow up:

Tschudi, F. (1977). ABC model' (Loaded and Honest Questions: A Construct Theory View of Symptoms and Therapy. In Don Bannister (Ed.), New Perspectives in Personal Construct Theory. Academic Press: London).

Tschudi, F. and Sandsberg, S. On the advantages of symptoms: Exploring the client's construing. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 1984, 25, 169-177). 

Tschudi, F. and Winter, D. (2011). The ABC Model Revisited. In Personal Construct Methodology (eds P. Caputi, L.L. Viney, B.M. Walker and N. Crittenden). 

Atomic Habits by James Clear

PCPA You Tube interview about ABC, with John Fisher and Helen Jones

ABC examples can be viewed here.

Friday, January 1, 2021

This month’s episode features an interview with Dr. Diane Allen, Counselling Psychologist and PCP Psychotherapist, who is an experienced and creative PCP therapist. Diane has been using PCP in her work with adults for many years. You can hear how Diane has used PCP throughout her career as a nurse, university tutor, and counselling psychologist and psychotherapist. She has worked in the NHS and privately.

Diane’s chapter (Chapter 17) in this book is titled:  Working with People who Hear Voices.

In David A Winter & Linda L Viney, (2005) (Eds.)

Personal Construct Psychotherapy: Advances in Theory, Practice and Research: Whurr. You can get a secondhand copy of this book much cheaper - check that link on Amazon.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

September's episode is about the way Kelly defines guilt - it is very different from the dictionary definition and is a really useful construct. I give a very personal example of my recent experience of being stuck because of experiencing guilt and how I was able to reconstrue and move on. I hope this helps you to understand what it is about and how you might help someone else or yourself.

You can find out more about Kelly’s definition of guilt in The Psychology of Personal Constructs Vol. 1, Chapter 10, Dimensions of Transition.

Bannister’s (2005) helpful rewording of Kelly is in an interesting chapter:

“Your core role structure is what you understand yourself to be.… guilt is experienced not because one has defied and upset social taboos but because you have misread yourself.”

Bannister, D. (2005): the Logic of Passion. Chapter 2 in Fransella, F. (Ed.) (2005) The Essential Practitioner’s Handbook of Personal Construct Psychology.

Monday, August 31, 2020

August 2020's edition is in in a better podcast style. It tells the story of how the technique came out of a session with a young person at a time when I was stuck in my work with him. On the day it emerged, I had no idea that it would be so successful. I hope you will find it useful and it will encourage you to design your own techniques. Show notes below: 

1. Can boredom ever be good? All in the Mind ABC National Radio

Part 1: The benefits of boredom

Part 2: The benefits of boredom

This is a link to the Boredom Proneness Scale test if you fancy trying it out.

2. Tom Ravenette: “Never, never, never give advice”: An essay in professional practice. Ch. 8 in Personal Construct Theory in Educational Psychology.

3. Tsudi’s ABC John Fisher and Helen Jones talk about Finn Tsudi’s ABC technique

4. Harry Procter’s work can be found here on Researchgate and YouTube.

5. Salmon (1995) Psychology in the Classroom: Reconstructing Teachers and Learners

Find yourself: Salmon line

Sunday, July 26, 2020

This month's post is thinking about PCP and why it is useful for thinking about and as a therapeutic approach to use with young people (and adults) with autism.

Sunday, June 21, 2020
The idea for this is post came from someone on the mailing list who was asking about a PCP take on the adjustments we are making in ways of working in the pandemic.