In Constructivist Therapy Over Time, Dr. Robert A. Neimeyer demonstrates this empathic, client-centered therapy. In this approach, therapists follow closely where the client wishes to go in each session, focusing on the meaning clients assign to their experiences and constantly striving to guide clients toward the most emotionally significant areas of their narratives. Constructivist therapy views humans as meaning makers, and the meaning or sense that humans make of their lives in turn creates their experience of the world. This therapy helps clients to find new and deeper significance in what they may be experiencing, ultimately allowing them to grow and change.
In this session, Dr. Neimeyer works with an African American woman whose daughter was delivered stillborn. The client has been paralyzed by grief and depression for months. Over the course of six sessions, Dr. Neimeyer helps the client to make new sense of her life and work through her grief, while reconstructing a sustaining bond with her deceased child. These powerful sessions show how the client moves from near constant sadness to a new sense of hope, vitality, and strength.