some weakness in our theories, i.e. being unable to foresee events
and how to handle them. Kelly also thought emotions resulted from a
change in our personal constructs or from a need to change our ideas
about the world. For example, fear results when we suspect that our
ideas are not adequate to handle an upcoming event, anger is when
we discover some of our ideas and expectations are clearly wrong,
happiness and complacency is when our constructs (explanations and
theories) seem to fit what is happening in our world. Kelly did not
advocate changing emotions or behavior by directly changing our
ideas, as in Rational-Emotive therapy (method #3), but rather more
indirectly by doing the opposite: change one's ideas (constructs or
explanations) by experiencing new events in the world, i.e. by
changing one's behavior.
In short, Kelly treated clients by helping them gain a better grasp
of psychology and the world so they can live their own lives better.
There is no one ideal personality or optimal adjustment to strive for;
there is a constant changing of one's thinking to better anticipate the
future and handle it. We, as scientists, learn new and better constructs
(theories) by having new experiences and we have new experiences by
behaving differently. Thus, Kelly suggested that therapists encourage
clients to try new ways of coping with life (and new ways of viewing
themselves) by acting out new roles or life-styles for at least two
weeks. The therapist would write a script--a role description--for the
patient. This new role would be radically different from the person's
current behavior, i.e. both an improvement and in keeping with the
person's basic needs and values.
As a result of being "a different person" for two weeks, patients
frequently discovered new ways of handling situations which they
adopted. In fact, occasionally a patient reported that the new role,
after a couple weeks of practice, seemed as though it was their real
self, perhaps a personality trait they had kept hidden and was only
dimly aware of for many years.
To find better and more satisfying ways of behaving, interacting
and thinking about oneself.
To test out different life-styles in real life situations to see how
well they work for you.
To improve one's self-concept.
STEP ONE: Write a description of a new way of being or
interacting--a new life style.
Design a new you. Consider your current weaknesses, frustrations,
values, goals, strengths and opportunities, then prescribe several new
ways of behaving for yourself. The new role prescription can be a