The article summarizes the current discussion of personal meaning in the context of the history of the psychological study of the construct of meaning. The first section provides an historical overview of the psychological study of meaning, including the recent surge of publications during the past five years that have emphasized the task of dialogical integration. The second section reviews the articles included in this issue from the viewpoint of their contribution to this integration. The results of this round of discussions are summarized as 3 statements that might serve as the basis for a consensus regarding the construct of personal meaning: 1. The importance of the construct of meaning; 2. Its tripartite structure, including motivational, emotional, and cognitive components; 3. Its irreducibility to either objective or subjective components and the importance of understanding the holistic quality of meaning emerging in the interplay of the two realms.
The purpose of this research was to develop an instrument for assessing constructivist counselor supervision practices. In an exploratory mode, we also tested supervisee preferences regarding constructivist supervision. Items consistent with constructivist supervision were developed based on a thorough review of the literature and rated by experts in constructivist supervision. Counselors currently receiving supervision (n = 308, 81% female) responded to these items, indicating the extent to which their current or most recent supervisor adhered to these constructivist practices during supervision. Principal components analysis results revealed three main components of constructivist supervision practice: warm and non-directive relationship, past and present experiences, and acceptance of various styles. Preliminary evidence for internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and convergent and discriminant validity of the scale items are reported. Participants also indicated the degree to which they preferred their supervisors’ constructivist practices. The Constructivist Supervisor Scale may be used in future research focused on supervision processes as well as in practice to assess the degree to which these core constructivist methods are used during supervision.
The article offers answers to a number of pertinent questions regarding the nature and importance of meaning as a fundamental construct in psychological science. The author’s view emphasizes the complex, multifaceted nature of meaning as a relational phenomenon. It considers meaning as rooted in the web of connections that define one’s world and the multiple contexts of one’s existence. Theoretical and methodological problems with the concept of meaning are examined in the context of the relational nature of meaning.