A plenary session séance intended to communicate with the late George Kelly, founder of personal construct psychology, will be a highlight of the European Personal Construct Association's 2016 conference, its organizers have announced.
"What better way to mark the occasion than to contact Kelly himself in an effort to update him on the latest in personal construct theory development, rep grid methodology, and practical applications in both clinical and organizational settings?" remarked Professor David Winter, who looks forward to communing with Kelly directly for the first time in his long and highly accomplished career as a personal construct psychologist. "I think Dr. Kelly will be quite pleased with all we have been able to do with his theory since his premature passing in 1966."
"What a splendid idea! I am absolutely gobsmacked!" exclaimed Dr. Harry Procter, who not only will attend the séance but has been charged with serving as its convener and chief medium. "What a remarkable opportunity. I have every intention of getting right down to business and asking Kelly flat out: What do you think of my innovative work on relational grids?"
The conference, to be held in Galzignano Terme in the province of Padua in Italy, will occur from July 7-10. In the run up to the conference, its organizers are busily researching the nuances of effective séance procedure. "We don't want to be caught off guard," said one unnamed conference organizer. "Analyzing a rep grid is one thing; conducting a séance is quite another."
Admittedly, the idea of holding a séance is not universally popular within the personal construct psychology community. To many people's great surprise, even though the conference will be held in Padua, prominent Italian personal construct psychologists sharply disagree about the wisdom of summoning Kelly from the Great Beyond.
"I am not sure about the appropriateness of such an activity," sniffed Professor Gabriele Chiari. "Kelly never spoke of such things anywhere in his published canon, thus I am not certain that we should be soiling his work by associating it with the unscientific channeling of ghostly spirits. I'm all for hermeneutic approaches to constructivism, but this is ridiculous."
"I disagree firmly," countered Professor Massimo Giliberto. "As long as we don't resort to bringing out Beverly Walker's ouija board, I believe we can maintain our professional dignity and learn Kelly's thoughts about the broader constructivist movement that has arisen since his untimely death. Despite all our hand wringing about it over the years, Kelly might really dig things we never could have predicted--you know, things like Twitter and social constructionism."
Personal feelings about including a séance at the conference notwithstanding, the event surely promises to increase attendance. Pending completion of relevant paperwork, conference goers will be eligible for 3 continuing education credits for participating in the séance; 4 if Dr. Kelly ultimately communicates with the group from the hereafter.