Drawing the Ideal Self Podcast

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Laddering: a really useful PCP technique. Ep.32

Sunday, January 29, 2023

This month the episode is about laddering, which came as a request from a listener. A great request because it is an extremely powerful technique so should be used with great care and full attention being paid to the person you are working with. Laddering can very quickly get to aspects of a person’s construing they may not have expressed in words, so the experience can be surprising to them - for good or bad reasons. Learning to use laddering is very important for PCP practitioners because it is a way to explore how the person’s choices in their daily life are connected to their core constructs.This episode looks at two papers on laddering, one by Fransella and one by Walker and Crittenden. Laddering is something that looks and sounds very easy but it requires theoretical understanding to use it well. Kelly proposed that a person has many, many constructs and that they are organised in a hierarchical system. Some constructs will be extremely important to the person - their core constructs. Having an awareness of a person’s core constructs will be very important if we want to understand them better. The authors here describe laddering and pick up some of the common questions about process.

Fransella, F. (2003).  Some Skills and Tools for Personal Construct Practitioners. Ch. 10 in Fransella, F. (Ed). International Handbook of Personal Construct Psychology. 

Walker, B., and Crittenden, N. (2012). The use of Laddering: Techniques, Applications and Problems. Ch. 3 in Caputi, P., Viney, L.L., Walker, B., and Crittenden, N. Personal Construct Methodology.