Jay Efran, who studied under George Kelly and Julian Rotter at The Ohio State University and went on to develop context-centered psychotherapy, has been honored with a marble bust at the National Museum of Psychology in Akron, Ohio.
“Over a 50+ year career, Dr. Efran has been a thorn in the side of professional psychology,” said the museum’s executive director, David R. Baker, in a statement released to the press. “We wanted to publicly honor him for utilizing radical constructivism and its seminal notion of structure determinism to so brilliantly perturb the status quo–albeit under the demonstrably false assumption that doing so might force the discipline of psychology to reorganize itself in more generative configurations. Ha! Put that in your structure and determine it!”
When contacted at his home in Philadelphia and told of the honor, Jay was flattered but not especially enthusiastic. “I had heard they were planning to do this and I wasn’t particularly excited about it. Awards aren’t personal, you know. They’re really more a reflection on those giving them than those receiving them.”
Asked why, given his lack of enthusiasm about the award, he didn’t turn it down, Efran cocked his head slightly and replied briskly, “I decided to go along with it because–as every context-centered psychotherapist knows–what we resist persists!”
Colleagues in the field had a variety of reactions when told of Efran’s bust being installed in the museum.
“What an extraordinary accomplishment,” gushed Efran co-author Mitchell Greene. When shown a photo of the bust and asked to comment, Greene’s expression shifted dramatically and there was a lengthy pause before he replied “Well um, how interesting. Not exactly up to Roman standards, but it’s the thought that counts.”
Not everyone was as circumspect about the quality of the bust.
“Ha! I think it’s wonderful!” cheered renowned personal construct psychologist Franz Epting, who went to graduate school with Efran back in the 1960s. “I never realized before how much Jay looks like Ulysses S. Grant! The resemblance is uncanny!”
Though most people in the constructivist community responded positively, a few were critical of the bust being installed in the museum.
“Talk about reification of constructs!” huffed Bill Warren when reached at his retirement villa in Australia. “George Kelly said that people are forever in process. However, statues are inevitably static creations, therefore I’m against them. Now get out of my way because I’m off to the pub to watch me some rugby.”
Prominent critic of constructivism, Barbara Held, used the opportunity to score points.
“How ironic that an antirealist like Efran is being honored with something about as epistemologically real as it gets: a garish bust of his noggin!” snapped Held when asked to comment during a visit to the museum where she was among the first to view the bust. “Does Efran even accept the statue as ontologically real? If not, he and his fellow antirealists need to get back to reality!”
After commenting, Held took out a black Sharpie and attempted to draw a phrenology map on the side of the bust, but was prevented from doing so by museum security.
Asked to place having a bust of his head displayed in a museum into context, Efran responded “I usually love being asked about context, but I can honestly say that when it comes to this God-forsaken artistic monstrosity that is supposed to represent my head, suddenly discussing context annoys the hell out of me.” Trying to salvage his answer, Efran added “Having a hideous bust of your head put in a museum doesn’t matter, but it also doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter. So there’s that.”
The official unveiling of “Efran in Repose” at the National Museum of Psychology is scheduled for October 10.
Alvin “Al” Warner Landfield, Ph.D., 94 of Lincoln, Nebraska, passed away on Friday, January 11, 2019. He was born September 10, 1924 in Newark, New York to Warner C. Landfield and Edith J. Landfield (Crane). He graduated from Newark High School, followed by one semester at Muskingum College, Ohio.
He was a veteran of the greatest generation and served in WWII. He was drafted into the Army and was sent to Alabama for four months of training. After Infantry training, he was transferred to the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). Al enrolled in Basic Engineering at Auburn University, then called Alabama Polytechnic Institute. The ASTP program was shut down after two semesters and students were sent as Infantry replacements to France. He was assigned to Patton’s Third Army, 26th Division, Company G, 328th Infantry Regiment, where he served until hospitalized with trench foot. After three months he was sent to a Rehab Hospital in North Carolina.
Following his honorable discharge in 1945, Al enrolled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, then entered the Graduate School at The Ohio State University. He completed an MA and then received his Ph.D. in Psychology in 1951.
Dr. Landfield served on three university faculties, initially at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor, then the University of Missouri as an Associate and Full Professor. In 1967, he was a Visiting Scientist at the University of London. He transferred to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln as a Full Professor in 1972.
He is the author and editor of five Graduate level books in the Psychology of Personal Constructs. One of the books was also translated into Spanish. For twenty years he was responsible for an International Clearing House of research in his field of study. He was responsible for the First International Congress on Personal Construct Theory, held in Lincoln at UNL. International Conferences have been held every other year since 1975 in more than seven countries. In 1996, he received a Lifetime Career Award at the conference in Banff Canada. He retired from the University of Nebraska.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Elizabeth, and wife Susan Jean (Pugh). Al is survived by his wife Ann (Case), daughter Megan Landfield, son Kent Landfield, daughter-in-law Teresa Landfield, grandchildren Faye Slosar (Landfield), Neal Landfield and Jonathan Landfield, and eight great-grandchildren, step-son Duncan Case, step-daughter Leslie Case and step-son Colyn Case. In lieu of flowers make memorials to: Salvation Army, Red Cross, Peoples city Mission, or the Friendship Home.
Obituary from https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/lincoln-ne/alvin-landfield-8122654.
Constructivist psychologist and world-renowned grief and loss scholar Robert Neimeyerhas signed a 7-year deal with Netflix, according to unnamed sources. Under the deal, which will pay Neimeyer an estimated $12.5 million annually, Netflix and Neimeyer will work together to produce a streaming documentary series, tentatively titled “Love and Loss with Bob Neimeyer.”
“I’m thrilled,” said Neimeyer at the press conference in Burbank where the deal was announced. “I’ve been traversing the globe presenting on grief and loss for years now, so to land a Netflix deal and be able to share my global sojourns on television is beyond exciting.”
Reaction to the Neimeyer signing from within the constructivist community was swift and intense. Some were encouraging, but most expressed some combination of skepticism and envy.
“What a lovely and well-deserved accomplishment,” said Franz Epting, senior personal construct psychologist and former mentor to Neimeyer during his undergraduate days at the University of Florida. “I will definitely tune in. Um, what channel is Netflix on in Gainesville?”
But not everyone was as enthusiastic in response to the news.
“Sell out,” muttered a seemingly jealous Larry Leitner, whose daytime talk show, “Hello Larry,” was such a bust for ABC television several years ago that he quit psychology permanently and retired to a farm in Iowa. “Why get a gig on TV when you can run a family farm instead?”
There was a similarly chilly reaction from Bob’s younger brother, Greg, also a psychologist.
“How come he gets a TV show instead of me?” exclaimed Greg, associate executive director for continuing educationand professional development at the American Psychological Association, as he made his way to the White House to lobby President Trump for increased federal funding of mental health care. “As a political big wig in my own right, my entourage is still going to be bigger than Bob’s. Plus, I have more Twitter followers than he does.”
When asked about the mixed reaction to his television deal from the constructivist community, Bob was philosophical.
“It’s hard when people move on to bigger and better things. First there was my new Institutein Portland. Now a show on Netflix. I’m the David Letterman of Psychology. And that’s not easy for everyone. But my show, which will teach people how to make meaning out of loss, should help those struggling with my recent Hollywood ascent. Oh, and tell Greg his entourage got nothin’ on mine.”
”Love and Loss with Bob Neimeyer” is scheduled to start streaming on Netflix in July.
Constructivist stock market investorseverywhere were downright giddy when it was announced today that the constructivist-oriented Coherence Psychology Instituteis going public. According to multiple press reports, the price per share for the Institute’s upcoming initial public offering (IPO)will be between $12-15. For those not savvy in the workings of the stock market, an IPO marks the first time a company sells stock to the public.
“We are pleased to announce our IPO,” announced Institute director, master psychotherapist, and part-time day trader Dr. Bruce Eckerat a hastily arranged press conference, accompanied by fellow coherence therapist and institute co-director Dr. Sara Bridges. “This is a momentous day for constructivist therapists and Wall Street investors alike.”
“This IPO reflects the ever-growing success and popularity of Coherence Therapy™ and the Emotional Coherence Framework™,” added Dr. Bridges.
But why an IPO?
“Ah, that’s an easy question,” replied Dr. Bridges. “What made us decide to move forward with this IPO is that we have now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, established that Coherence Therapy™ uses the brain’s built-in process for modifying established neural circuits—what we call the Therapeutic Reconsolidation Process™. Who wouldn’t want to invest in that?”
“Besides, we also really want to get ourselves Teslas,” added Dr. Ecker, anticipating the economic windfall an IPO can bring. “They’re really cool cars and good for the environment too.”
Reaction from the constructivist community was swift and, as always, divided.
“Capitalists exploiting constructivism for personal gain!” harrumphed grouchy retired constructivist therapist Dr. Larry Leitner from his retirement villa in rural Iowa. “For goodness sake, I developed experiential personal construct therapy and it never made me a dime! Literally. Can you spare a dime?”
“How do I get me some shares?” asked wayward personal construct psychologist Dr. Greg Neimeyer,now working as the American Psychological Association’s associate executive director for continuing education. “This APA gig ain’t paying the bills. Living in DC is so much more expensive than Gainesville!”
The real question is whether, outside of the 12 documented constructivist therapists who make more than $45,000 per year, there is much of a market for a Coherence Institute IPO.
“Hmm, when did you first notice yourself worrying about whether you could afford shares?” asked Ecker, looking somber and exuding empathy. “Perhaps if I write down the cost per share on this index card, you could consult it thrice daily so that the emotional truth that you can afford it might break through.”
"Um, yeah, what he said," added Bridges, nodding her head in agreement.
As of press time, the IPO is scheduled for April 15. Mark your calendars.
Dr. Seán Brophy, who worked as a management consultant and author in private practice in Dublin, Ireland, passed away on February 14, at the age of 73. He had been ill for a while and had been in hospital since the day after Christmas. Seán specialised in educating clients to make sense of their lives so that they can be more effective at solving their own problems particularly in the context of personal or organisational change. He was a leading practitioner in the application of Personal Construct Psychology, the psychology of the whole person or the psychology of change to the context of life in organizations. Originally he worked as an engineer and manager in industry for 20 years. For the last 30 years he had acted as a consultant in Personal Construct Psychology to a variety of organi-sations in Ireland, the UK and the United States. He is the author of The Strategic Management of Irish Enterprise and several books of poetry.
He will be remembered as an eminent member of the worldwide PCP community – and as a poet in his own right.
Trevor Butt passed away late last week from stomach cancer. Trevor's work in personal construct psychology made a tremendous impact on the field and extended Kelly's theory in new and exciting directions. His efforts to relate PCP to social constructionism, phenomenology, and pragmatism has been highly influential.
A list of Trevor's writings can be found on academia.edu.
He will be greatly missed.
Oklahoma State University has named CPN President-Elect Dr. Kenneth Sewell vice president for research to lead the planning, coordination and growth of research programs and funding university-wide.
Following a national search and campus visits by four finalists, Sewell was named OSU’s new chief research leader subject to approval by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents at its next regularly scheduled meetingApril 24. He will start July 1.
“He has experience as a vice president and associate vice president of research at two institutions,” said Dr. Gary Sandefur, OSU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. “Personally, I was impressed with his reflections about the challenges and opportunities that research universities face.”
Sewell is currently the vice president for research and economic development and the executive director of the Graduate School at the University of New Orleans. He has spent a majority of his career as a clinical psychologist, a teacher and a researcher in behavioral sciences.
Previously, Sewell served as director of the nationally accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas. In 2008 he was named the associate vice president for research and then interim VPR at North Texas before he joined the faculty and administrative staff at the University of New Orleans as vice president of research in 2013.
Sewell received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Kansas State University and Master of Science and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Kansas. Sewell played on the Kansas Statefootball team in the early 1980s. An Oklahoma native, Sewell graduated fromCoweta High School.
In his new position, Sewell will work on a number of issues involving the research program at OSU, including a need to enhance the university’s research infrastructure, according to Sandefur.
“We have some things we want him to work on, but he’ll have his own opportunity to think about directions he would like to go and what he might want to do with research here at OSU,” Sandefur said.
Sewell takes over from Interim VPR Dr. Sheryl Tucker, who returns to her position as dean of the OSU Graduate College fulltime. Tucker was appointed interim vice president in 2013 and served as both VPR and Graduate College dean.
“We appreciate Dr. Tucker’s leadership and commitment to OSU research and the Graduate College as we filled this vital position. I have really enjoyed working with her in both of her roles,” Sandefur said.
Sewell takes over administration of a research program that in FY2013 recorded expenditures of more than $134 million according to the latest National Science Foundation report on research expenditures at higher education institutions. OSU is in the top 20 percent of institutions ranked by the NSF. As one of the three essential roles of a land-grant university, research provides a key foundation for OSU’s teaching and outreach missions.
This article adapted and reproduced from https://news.okstate.edu/articles/oklahoma-state-university-names-sewell-lead-research
CPN Presidential Candidate Kenneth Sewell has announced plans to run for congress. Seeking a seat as a Democrat in Louisiana's Congressional District 2, Sewell simply wants to make a difference.
Sewell is currently Vice President of Research and Economic Development at the University of New Orleans, but sees the transition to politics as a natural next step in the progression of his career.
"Well, with my shift into a more administrative role at my current university, I've gotten knee-deep in university politics the last few years. And what's nastier than that? I figure compared to campus politics, congressional politics will be a cinch," said Sewell as he sipped a margarita while attending a fundraiser for his new political action committee, "Sew-PAC."
What will his agenda be?
"Roads," he said, solemnly. "I'm a big fan of roads. We need to build more of them and fast. I want to be the Robert Moses of Louisiana."
Is he prepared for the rough and tumble of politics? The negative campaigning?
"Indeed I am," he reported in that charming southern drawl that disarms listeners. "The fella running against me is a Tea Party hack unworthy of higher office. Besides, this is Louisiana, so there's a 50-50 chance he'll be caught taking bribes sometime between now and election day."
Are the people of New Orleans really ready to elect a constructivist psychologist as their next Congressman?
"Why not?" asked Sewell, flashing a quick grin. "The opportunities for connections between Louisiana politics and constructivist psychology are untapped, really. My plan is to offer Louisianans new constructive alternatives...and, of course, roads. Did I mention I'm a big fan of roads?"
Sewell's CPN colleagues were not entirely surprised to hear of his political aspirations, but reactions were mixed.
"I'd vote for him in a heartbeat!" exclaimed Sara Bridges, past CPN President and Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of Memphis. "He's dreamy!"
"Sewell's a Democrat?" snorted current CPN President Spencer McWilliams. "Who'd have thunk it? That guy's one helluva a political chameleon! But he is kinda dreamy."
And what about his CPN presidential run?
"Oh, that won't be a problem," stated Sewell with quiet confidence. "I'm an excellent multitasker. I'm thinking I can easily serve CPN and the 2nd Congressional District simultaneously. Might even be able to steer some PAC money towards the next international personal construct psychology congress if everything works out as planned."
Does he think he'll win?
"If I was a gambling man, I'd bet on it," he said with a wink.
Election Day is November 4.
Internationally-renowned constructivist researcher and psychotherapist Robert Neimeyer is giving up constructivism to become a dentist. Neimeyer was contacted on his connecting flight from Benghazi to Luxembourg, where he was scheduled to give the last of 587 invited lectures he has given since 2010 on applying constructivist therapy techniques to helping those facing issues of grief and loss. He was asked about the abrupt and unexpected career shift.
“I’ve just had enough,” Neimeyer sighed. “I’m tired of helping people reconstrue their identities in the aftermath of devastating personal losses. It’s easier just to clean people’s teeth.”
When asked if he was taking up a particular dental speciality, Neimeyer paused.
“Orthodontia sounds interesting,” he said. “Maybe I’ll get back what I spent to have my kids’ teeth straightened!”
Will he miss constructivism?
“Not really,” he noted with a twinkle in his eye. “I hate to admit it, but all that theory and theoretical jargon wore me down after a while. I grew tired of all the epistobabble. You may not believe this, but I don’t like big words.”
Asked for a final thought before he darted off to catch his flight, Neimeyer smiled. “Very few people recall this about him, but George Kelly always reminded his friends and students to floss twice a day. Let me add that people should also make sure to have their teeth cleaned biannually. Call my secretary to make an appointment.”