1.3 WHAT THIS BOOK MISSES OUT

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Firstly, it doesn’t talk to you like a textbook. At least, I hope not! The point is to

learn how to do something in the here and now, rather than to understand it

conceptually. There will be times when you think that I’m spoon-feeding you,

and, no doubt, academics who review this book will feel that it’s far too basic.

Never mind: that is a sacrifice well worth making if it creates some clear space in

which you can concentrate on learning the basics of technique. You can get

round to the more conceptually orientated books once you’ve mastered this one.

Always remember the need fora leavening of theory if you’re not tomisuse the practicalities!

There is one text, just one, which you could usefully regard as a companion

volumetothisone, andasafirst recoursewhenyoufindthat thebasicsoutlinedherein

are an insufficient basis for your questions.Twenty-five years ago, Fay Fransella and

Don Bannister published their Manual of Repertory Grid Technique, a text which is to

reappearas Fransella et al. (2004).Use that as a conceptual back-up.

Secondly, it needs to be remembered that this is an introduction, and that

there’s more to learn about more specialized, advanced techniques once you

have mastered the basics. There are, for example, a number of index measures

(see Section 5.1) based on grid information and sometimes used in therapy.

I haven’t included them here because they are best used in conjunction with

other sources of information (clinical interviews, psychometric tests, repeated

grid measures, and familiarity with at least one strong theory of cognitive

structure), and none of these are included in this guide. (It is rather tempting,

for example, after recognising monolithic construing in a single grid, to infer

that the individual engages in obsessive thinking in general. I’d rather not

make inferences of that kind on the basis of a single grid.)

Thirdly, although I mention computer analysis of grid material, I don’t

provide a systematic review of the various software packages available for

grid elicitation and analysis. This is especially relevant to Chapter 6, in which

two of the four procedures rely on some form of software. The introduction to

that chapter gives you details of a website through which you can access an

online repertory grid elicitation and analysis engine, which is platformindependent

and will provide you with any computation facilities you need in

working with this guide. (That is a matter of personal preference. Some people

like to fiddle with software while they’re learning about a procedure that can

make use of such software, and some people find it a distraction.)