Thanks for a terrific conference to all who attended! The conference is now over. The information on this page is for general reference only.


Arlington, Texas

The 15th Biennial Conference of the Constructivist Psychology Network was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington, Texas from July 18-21, 2012.

Conference Photos

Conference Organizers

Donald K. Granvold
Stephanie Lewis Harter

Conference Theme

“Persons as Scientists, Storytellers, and Artists: Exploring Metaphors for Creative Relational Processes”

Call for Proposals

Lincoln Square, Arlington

Call for proposals that was sent out in advance of the conference: 

In selecting this year’s conference theme, “Persons as Scientists, Storytellers, and Artists: Exploring Metaphors for Creative Relational Processes,” we hope to invite conversations between those interested in personal construct, constructivist, social constructionist, narrative, feminist, multicultural, and other approaches to meaning-making psychology.  We welcome proposals for papers, workshops, symposia, or other format presentations on any topic related to human meaning and change processes.  We are particularly interested in relations between various descriptions of creative processes considering the person as scientist, storyteller, and/or artist.  This includes applications of meaning-making psychology to creative processes in everyday life, therapy, human relationships, interaction of persons with technology, organizations, and cultures.  It also includes applications of psychology to the sciences, humanities, and arts, as well as implications of these fields for psychology.  We are a multi-disciplinary group and welcome contributions exploring potential intersections between other fields and meaning-making psychology.

Proposal Submission Form (MS Word); proposals due March 1, 2012  April 1, 2012.

Call for proposals now closed.

Keynote Speakers

Information provided about speakers:

In keeping with the conference theme of “Persons as Scientists, Storytellers, and Artists,” each keynote speaker will address one of these metaphors. Details on the speakers and their presentations are coming soon.

Jonathan Raskin

Jonathan D. Raskin will address the “Person as Scientist” metaphor in his keynote address, “Constructing and Deconstructing DSM-5: The Open Letter Committee Story.” His keynote tells the story of his involvement with the Society for Humanistic Psychology’s Open Letter Committee, which in October 2011 posted an online letter and petition asking the DSM-5 Task Force to reconsider certain proposed changes planned for the manual. Dr. Raskin will review the contents of the open letter, the petition that accompanied it that unexpectedly has generated over 13,000 signatures to date, the DSM-5 Task Force’s refusal to submit controversial proposals for independent review, and the Open Letter Committee’s planned next steps.

Jonathan Raskin is a professor of psychology and counseling at the State University of New York at New Paltz. His scholarship focuses on constructivist counseling and psychotherapy, as well as on articulating and clarifying constructivist theories. Dr. Raskin’s published work includes five co-edited books, including the four volumes of the Studies in Meaning series. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Raskin received the 2010 George Kelly Award for outstanding scholarly contribution to constructivist psychology from the Constructivist Psychology Network. He currently serves as managing editor of the Journal of Constructivist Psychology.

Kenneth Sewell

Kenneth W. Sewell and Karen Morgan will address the “Person as Storyteller” metaphor.

Constructivist psychologist (by vocation) and poet, essayist, actor, and musician (by avocation) Kenneth Sewell, along with storyteller, storytelling advocate and former storytelling event organizer Karen Morgan will team up to present a multi-format keynote address, combining interview, performance, and commentary to delve into the meaning of Story in the lives of individuals, in professions (such as psychology and professional storytelling), and in cultures.

Kenneth Sewell, Ph.D., is a husband, dad, educator, administrator, and clinical psychologist who makes his living as a Professor of Psychology and Associate Vice President for Research at the University of North Texas. His constructivist writings span from repertory grid studies of posttraumatic stress responses to the analysis of how narrative plot components in a theatrical production can work their way into the social processes of the cast backstage. He works, acts, strums, sings, writes, plays, and lives in Denton, Texas.

Karen Morgan, Ph.D., moved from teaching and librarianship in the US and overseas to the world of nonprofit organizations in Texas. With a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, Morgan became interested in multiple aspects of storytelling while living on the Navajo reservation in the early 1970s. She served as chair for the National Storytelling Network, was president and executive director of the Tejas Storytelling Association, and is a recipient of the John Henry Faulk Award for outstanding contributions to storytelling in the southwest. Responsible for the artistic direction of storytelling events for twenty years, Morgan found herself drawn to producing storytelling venues which trigger story responses in audience members and providing subsequent opportunities for those tales to be told. Morgan’s interests have lead her to work with story development with cancer patients, the telling of war stories, and how story meaning may change over time and with different listeners.

Watch Kenneth tell the story of the “CPN Hillbillies” at the Conference Banquet.

Catherine Moon
Catherine Moon

Catherine Moon will address the “Person as Artist” metaphor in her keynote address, “Art, Empathy and Alterity.” This keynote will explore four features of art relevant to meaning making: its capacity for enhancing empathy, for holding in tension multiple interpretive potentials, for fostering democratic participatory culture, and for complicating the co-constituted cultural division between “normality” and “the pathological.” These ideas will be illuminated through stories about work with clients and through examples of the work of contemporary artists. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of practical implications for both psychology practices and everyday life.

Cathy Moon is Associate Professor in the Art Therapy Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of Studio Art Therapy: Cultivating the Artist Identity in the Art Therapist and editor of Materials and Media in Art Therapy: Critical Understandings of Diverse Artistic Vocabularies. She has practiced art therapy since 1980 and has taught art therapy at undergraduate and graduate levels since 1985. Her practice has included work with children, adolescents and adults in settings ranging from a private psychiatric hospital in Ohio, to mobile therapy in client’s homes and a private practice in a community gallery in Pennsylvania, to a community-based art studio in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. She currently works with a non-profit organization, Global Alliance for Africa, to develop therapeutic art programs for orphans and other vulnerable children in Kenya and Tanzania and is collaboratively developing a community-based studio in Chicago aimed at addressing local social justice issues. She has served in various roles within the American Art Therapy Association and is currently on the editorial board for Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. A painter and mixed media artist, writer, and curator, her professional publications and presentations in art therapy have focused on the unique contributions of an artistic perspective in therapeutic practice, and on critical theory and disability studies as they relate to mental illness.


Overview of program:

In selecting this year’s conference theme, we invited conversations between those interested in personal construct, constructivist, social constructionist, narrative, feminist, multi-cultural, and other approaches to meaning-making psychology. We are delighted with the response that we received. The conference includes artists, scholars, therapists, scientists, storytellers, musicians, teachers, and those exploring combinations of these roles. Presenters will be considering applications of the metaphors of person as scientist, storyteller, and artist to creating, relating, and other meaning processes. We anticipate that the resulting conversation will elaborate new possibilities.

Download the program and abstracts (PDF).


Cowboys Stadium

Registration information that was shared with prospective attendees:

Registration includes the welcome reception on Wednesday, July 18 from 6:00-8:00 PM, continental breakfast each morning from 7:30-8:30 AM, beverages and snacks at morning and afternoon breaks, and a ticket for the evening banquet on Saturday, July 21.

Registrants may purchase up to four extra banquet tickets for guests who are not registering for the conference.

Non-member rates include a 2012 CPN membership, which comes with a 2012 subscription to the Journal of Constructivist Psychology.


Hilton Garden Inn, site of the conference

Information provided on accommodations:

On-site accommodations are available at the Hilton Garden Inn Dallas/Arlington, the site of the conference. Conference attendees are eligible for a special hotel rate of $145 US per night.

Book a room now at the hotel’s CPN conference reservation site.

The Hilton Garden Inn hotel is centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, only ten miles from the Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport with convenient access to I-30 and Highway 360. The hotel is conveniently located close to attractions such as Six Flags, Hurricane HarborThe Ballpark in Arlington (home of the Texas Rangers, 1 mile away), and the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium (1.5 miles away). The hotel features modern conveniences, along with a great location and recreational amenities. Spacious guestrooms and suites boast a long list of guest amenities, generous work surfaces, luxurious bedding, and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Guests of the Hilton Garden Inn Arlington Texas will have full use of many hotel amenities including:

  • A sparkling heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi®
  • A well-equipped Fitness Center
  • Business Center available 24 hours
  • Pavilion Pantry® available 24 hours
  • 3,000 square feet of function space to accommodate small intimate groups and larger groups
  • Complimentary Parking

After a long day of travel or work come and unwind at the Pavilion Lounge or grab a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant, which serves American fare. Hilton Garden Inn guestrooms are beautifully appointed in a custom decor to meet the requirements of both business and leisure guests. Hotel rooms feature a large work desk, two line telephones, complimentary high-speed Internet, flat screen LCD televisions, microwave, mini-refrigerator, and coffee maker.


Arlington is 15 minutes by car from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. A complimentary shuttle from the airport to the Hilton Garden Inn is available. More about Arlington.

Google map of Arlington


Rangers Ballpark at Arlington

There are lots of fun things to see and do in Arlington. Check it out.

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Conference Committee

  • Donald K. Granvold, University of Texas Arlington, Co-Chair, site coordinator
  • Stephanie Lewis Harter, Texas Tech University, Co-Chair, program coordinator
  • Caroline Stanley, Wilmington College
  • Kristian Weihs, York University
  • Jonathan D. Raskin, State University of New York at New Paltz, webmaster


The following awards were given out at the conference:

Conference News

Archive of CPN 2012 conference-related news