Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Social Constructionism in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Sheila McNameeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_820

Name of Concept

Social Constructionism in Couple and Family Therapy


Collaborative therapy; Dialogic approaches to therapy; Postmodern couple and family therapy


Social constructionism is best described as a philosophical stance that, if adopted, orients us to the world in a relational – as opposed to individualist – manner. As a philosophical stance, social construction assumes that meaning emerges in what people do together. Social construction claims that, “what we take to be the truth about the world importantly depends on the social relationships of which we are a part” (Gergen 2015, p. 3). Thus, unlike our individualist tradition where meaning, rationality, motivation, and all that we take to be qualities of persons are assumed to be located within the person, social construction views these qualities as emergent byproducts of human interaction. The focus for the constructionist, therefore, is on interaction (i.e., what people do together) and on what their...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

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