Reframe Your Story Deepen Your Connections: Exploring Constructivism EFT and Narrative Therapy


Constructivism Theory of Learning: Making Sense of the World

Have you ever wondered how we learn new things? How do we make sense of the world around us?

According to constructivism theory, we are all active learners who construct new knowledge based on our experiences and interactions with the environment. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of constructivism theory, its influence on psychotherapy, and the different types of constructivist therapy.

What is Constructivism?

Constructivism is a learning theory that emphasizes the active process of learning. It posits that we construct new ideas and cognitive structures based on our individual experiences. We don’t simply receive information and store it in our brains like a computer; rather, we actively ask questions, test hypotheses, and make connections.

Our perception of the world is not objective but subjective, and we organize our experiences into patterns and categories that make sense to us.

The Influence of Constructivism on Psychotherapy

Constructivism theory has had a significant impact on the field of psychotherapy. It emphasizes that clients are the meaning makers of their own lives, and that the therapist’s role is to collaborate with them in creating new meaning.

Constructivist therapists focus on understanding the client’s world and their unique experiences, rather than imposing a preconceived model of mental health onto them.

Moreover, constructivist therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a meta-theory that can be applied to a variety of therapeutic models, such as narrative therapy, emotion-focused therapy, or solution-focused brief therapy.

Types of Constructivist Therapy

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy helps clients to reframe their struggles as part of their life story. The therapist helps the client to deconstruct their negative narratives and develop new, more empowering ones. This approach is particularly helpful for clients who have experienced trauma or abuse.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy works towards creating secure and trusting relationships between partners or families. The therapist helps clients to identify and understand their emotions and communication patterns, and provides strategies to improve them.

Solutions Focused Brief Therapy

Solutions Focused Brief Therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented approach that emphasizes the client’s strengths and abilities rather than their problems. The therapist helps clients to identify their goals, build a plan of action, and monitor their progress. It is particularly effective for clients who are dealing with depression or anxiety.

How Does Constructivism Work?

Constructivism theory posits that our perception is shaped by our individual experiences. We actively construct meaning from our environment, and organize our experiences into patterns and categories that make sense to us. We give meaning to what we perceive, and vice versa.

Moreover, constructivism theory emphasizes the role of the self in learning. We are not passive recipients of knowledge, but active agents who choose what we learn and how we learn it. We have the agency to construct our own reality and to shape our own learning.

Constructivist Therapy Techniques

Goal Clarification

One core constructivist therapy technique is goal clarification. The therapist helps clients to identify their goals and develop a clear plan of action to achieve them. This technique is particularly useful in solutions-focused brief therapy.

Experiment Invitation

Experiment invitation is another essential technique of constructivist therapy. The therapist encourages the client to take action and try new behaviors or ways of thinking. This technique allows the client to test their hypotheses and learn from their experiences.

Cycle De-escalation

Cycle de-escalation is a narrative therapy technique that helps clients to recognize the negative patterns in their life and develop new, more positive narratives. The therapist works collaboratively with the client to identify the cycle, and create alternative possibilities.

Narrative Construction

The final technique is narrative construction, which is central to narrative therapy. The therapist helps clients to deconstruct their negative narratives and identify the underlying beliefs and assumptions that maintain them. The therapist then assists the client in constructing more positive narratives that are in line with their goals and values.


Constructivism theory emphasizes the active process of learning, and the importance of individual experiences and the self in shaping our perception of the world. It has had a significant impact on psychotherapy, with constructivist therapists focusing on collaboration with clients and helping them to construct new meaning.

The main types of constructivist therapy include narrative therapy, emotionally focused therapy, and solutions-focused brief therapy. Different techniques, such as goal clarification, experiment invitation, cycle de-escalation, and narrative construction, are applied in different therapeutic approaches.

By understanding constructivism theory, therapists can better collaborate with clients, resulting in more effective and meaningful therapy.

Emotionally Focused Therapy: Creating Safe Emotional Bonds

Are you feeling disconnected or insecure in your relationships?

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) may offer a way to deepen and enrich those important connections. EFT is a short-term, structured approach to therapy that focuses on creating safe emotional bonds between individuals.

In this section, we’ll explore the basics of EFT, its application, and its effectiveness.

Overview of EFT

EFT is based on the idea that emotional attachment is a primary human need, and that a secure attachment bond creates a foundation for physical and emotional well-being. The therapist helps individuals to recognize their own and their partner’s underlying emotions and needs, and works to create a safe space for authentic communication.

Through the use of structured sessions, the therapist guides clients to better understand their individual and conjoint experiences, as well as how these relate to their emotions and attachment.

Application of EFT

EFT is most commonly used in the context of couples therapy. However, it can also be effective in other types of relationships, such as parent-child or friendship.

The aim is to deepen and enrich relationships by creating a safe emotional bond between individuals.

EFT is especially well-suited for relationships in which more surface-level solutions have not been effective, or where couples or individuals are dealing with complex emotional issues.

By tackling underlying emotional attachment patterns, EFT can improve a range of issues including relationship dissatisfaction, communication breakdowns, and feelings of loneliness.

Effectiveness of EFT

Research supports the effectiveness of EFT in helping individuals form and maintain strong emotional bonds. Studies have shown that EFT leads to significant improvements in relationship satisfaction and communication among couples.

Additionally, EFT has been effective in improving clinical issues such as depression and anxiety. Studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of EFT in helping couples to maintain positive changes in their relationship over time.

Narrative Therapy: Redefining Clients Stories

Do you feel trapped by your story? Are you ready to change the script?

Narrative therapy offers a way for individuals to redefine their personal narratives and re-author their lives. In this section, we’ll explore the basics of narrative therapy, its application, and its effectiveness.

Overview of Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy posits that peoples’ identities, relationships, and sense of meaning are shaped by the stories they tell about their lives. Our personal narratives define our experiences and beliefs, but they are not fixed or objective.

Narratives can be reinterpreted, reshaped, and rewritten. Narrative therapy aims to help individuals to see their lives in a different and more constructive way.

The therapist works to help clients separate themselves from their problems and develop an alternative narrative. This process allows clients to see the stories they tell about their lives as one possible version, rather than the only possible version.

The focus is shifted from what is perceived as negative to what is seen as positive in their lives.

Application of Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy is applied to a range of issues, such as depression, anxiety, and identity-related concerns. It can be used with people of all ages, from children, to families, to adults experiencing loss or trauma.

It can help clients who feel stuck or powerless to their problems. It assists in empowering them to take ownership of their thinking patterns and to create new possibilities.

Effectiveness of Narrative Therapy

Research has demonstrated that narrative therapy is an effective approach to improving mental health and well-being. It has been shown to be effective in treating depression, anxiety, trauma, and other mental health concerns.

Clients report feeling more in control of their lives and a better sense of self-awareness. Narrative therapy can be particularly beneficial for clients who feel disempowered by their problems and need help in reframing their lives positively.


Emotionally Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy are two effective approaches to therapy that emphasize storytelling and the importance of emotional bonds between individuals. Whether you are feeling disconnected or trapped by your story, these therapies offer a way to create new possibilities in your relationships and your sense of self.

By understanding the basics of these approaches, you can begin along the path of healing and growth.

Concerns and Limitations of Constructivism: Benefits and Potential Applications

While constructivism has become a popular framework in many fields, it is not without its criticisms and concerns.

In this section, we’ll explore some of the criticisms of constructivism and its limitations, as well as its benefits and potential applications.

Criticisms of Constructivism

One of the main criticisms of constructivism is that it can be seen as relativistic, meaning that it suggests there is no one objective truth that can be discovered through inquiry. Instead, constructivism emphasizes the notion that our perception of truth is contextualized by our experiences and culture.

This idea of contextualization can lead some critics to wonder how we can ever be certain that any particular stance from constructivism is valid for everyone. Another concern is that constructivism does not consider the impact of external reality on learning.

While individual experiences play a significant role in shaping an individual’s reality, the external environment can still affect the types of experiences an individual is exposed to. For instance, individuals in different socioeconomic or cultural contexts are likely to have different experiences and learning opportunities, which can challenge constructivism as a way to explain learning across contexts.

Benefits and Potential Applications

Despite these concerns, the benefits and applications of constructivism are numerous. Constructivism posits that individuals construct their own meanings and beliefs, and that learning cannot be imposed by an external agent; as such, constructivism argues that the role of the teacher or counselor should be collaborative rather than authoritarian.

Such an approach can be considered more empowering and can promote self-awareness, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving which suggests that patients will benefit from a therapeutic approach that affirms their agency. Specific benefits and potential applications of constructivism in therapy are indicated below:

  1. Constructivism helps in understanding experiences

    The value of constructivism is its focus on understanding how individuals construct knowledge and beliefs. By recognizing the role of individual experiences in shaping beliefs, therapy sessions can be used to help patients reframe or challenge negative beliefs.

    This can help create new, positive meaning, as they reconstruct meanings that can allow them to view their experiences differently, gain insight, and make progress.

  2. Create a Positive Outlook

    Constructivism helps to create a positive outlook for patients by drawing on their internal resources and experiences. This allows patients to understand their experiences, question what they believe, and create positive change.

    By reconstructing their viewpoints and notions of the self, patients can learn to experience the world in new and constructive ways, significantly improving their mental health outcomes.

  3. Making Progress in Therapy

    Constructivism can promote progress in therapy by empowering clients and helping them gain ownership over their own goals and experiences. By working collaboratively with the therapist instead of being a passive recipient, clients can tailor the therapy process to their specific needs and goals.

    This approach can improve the likelihood of positive outcomes as clients are more engaged in the therapeutic process.


Constructivism has its own set of limitations and criticisms. However, it promises numerous benefits and potential applications, especially for therapy.

Constructivism provides a guiding philosophy that emphasizes the importance of personal experience in shaping knowledge and emphasizes empowering the individual. By working collaboratively with clients, therapists can make progress in therapy, creating a positive outlook for patients, and enhancing their outcomes.

In summary, this article has explored various theories and therapeutic approaches to mental health. We have examined Constructivism as a learning theory that emphasizes the active process of learning, Emotionally Focused Therapy as an approach that focuses on creating safe emotional bonds between individuals, and Narrative Therapy as an approach that helps individuals redefine their personal narratives and author their lives.

While these approaches may have limitations and concerns, they offer multiple benefits and potential applications in promoting positive outcomes. By understanding these therapeutic approaches, we can better collaborate with clients and improve the effectiveness and meaningfulness of therapy, ultimately promoting healthier and happier lives.

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