Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The influence of postmodernism's challenge of the “objectivist” position in psychology has been central in the evolution of constructivist therapies. The abandonment of the certainty of modernist positions for the tentative, constructed meanings in the postmodern world has given rise to a number of therapeutic approaches that eschew well-established, contemporary icons in psychology. Objective assessment of personality, abilities, and psychopathology has given way to a more interpretive, hermeneutic approach to understanding the world in which we live. The spirit of uncertainty that pervades postmodern discourse is evident when trying to provide a fundamental definition of constructivism. Robert A. Neimeyer noted that there are numerous positions in postmodernism and that they are sometimes discordant with each other. He and Donald E. Polkinghorne, among others, have argued that the constructivist movement in psychotherapy is characterized by a truly postmodern lack of foundationalism, a lack of agreement on many of the particulars of ...