Religion and Personal Construct Theory (PCT)

PCT, George Kelly´s revolutionary work developed during the 1930-50-ties still expected to play an important part of psychological/psychiatric Health care systems!

Surprising for me Georg Kelly´s ”man as a scientist”-approach – a, not yet but, soon expected to be coming a well trough elaborated revolution in personality psychology (developed during the 1930-50-ties) – was inspired by a specific religious approach, internalized early in his life by his parents who were ministers. “Just as scientists are people, so all people can be considered incipient (potential, BvS word) scientists. The professional scientists refine and develops pattern of thoughts and activities in everybody. We all have theories, projects and aims. We all run experiments, testing ourselves or others. We may not be systematic as the professionals, but everyone has the essence of this scientific endeavour in their psychological make-up. Kelly introduced his central proposition of ´man as a scientist´ with reference to the protestant reformation. The early protestants had argued that priests were not special sorts of men how could channel the word of God to lesser mortals. Instead, each man should be his own priest” (Butt, 2008, p. 12).

Fay Fransella´s book, “George Kelly” (1995) gives very much information of Kelly´s life and work! I write more about Kelly at and will write more (while my own disstertation 1986 is very much based on his thinking) as well as further developed it into an integrating biopsychosocial medicine approach for clinical and not clinical use, were applied psychophysiology play an important role!

Kelly was very much ahead in his integration of pragmatic scientific knowledge and real world living people – which of curse had social academic consequences. His way of working was also very much in tunes with Thales critical rationalism as well as focus on individuals (ideographic perspective) way of making sense (or not functional by still personally trying to grasp goings-on) of their everyday life. Kelly argued that we (professionals) must be able to take the “position of our patients” and from their together find ways to more functional construe life. His clinical approach is still not understood but, as more people/colleagues than I, regard as argent needed in psychology and psychiatry! Most professional even do not know of PCT or Kelly´s and his followers work!

Now – what is challenging is also his relations to religion and how he gradually developed his PCT – independent of formal psychology where he was to find solutions on problems during the depression supporting people with very little money and no other support!

What is now challenging is can religion learn something from Kelly´s work? I will open a document for those interested to discuss my question just above!