AIM: The aim of this paper is to introduce the reader to personal construct psychology as a theory to help understand the process of change in facilitative and mentoring relationships.
BACKGROUND: Continuing professional development is critical if practitioners are to keep up to date with new ideas, techniques, and materials. However, is it important not only to consider what is learnt, it is also important to understand the how of learning in order to develop an approach that leads to lifelong learning. Mentoring, coaching, and appraisal are all facilitative processes that aim to encourage professionals to engage with their own development. This leads to differing degrees of both behavioural and attitudinal change. As a result, it is useful to have a theory that can help an individual to understand these changes and to identify any difficulties that are associated with them.
APPROACH: Personal construct psychology has long been recognised as a potential framework for personal development. It has been used extensively in a broad range of domains, including clinical and educational psychology, management, and psychotherapy.
CONCLUSION: Personal construct psychology is a useful theory for understanding the facilitative process because it enables the facilitator to form a conceptual framework to comprehend behavioural and attitudinal change. Its underlying philosophical approach also supports lifelong learning, given its emphasis on an enquiring mind and reflection, both of which are key to continuing professional development.