The three main themes of the evening’s talk included exploring the hierarchical structure of professional philosophy; consideration of how professional philosophy shapes essential elements of a consultation; and exploring 3 examples of practitioner type who could possess the optimal balance of skills to successfully address all the needs of individuals they work with.
The carefully considered information delivered by Gary, in a fair, gently questioning style, was based largely on the work done by Poczwardowski, Sherman, and Ravizza (2004) and several other influences who led to and have built on this work (see below for references).
Gary led us through how our core beliefs and values or heuristics underpin the directions we may take when we are exposed to teaching or theoretical paradigms, thereby shaping our interventional goals and ultimately the interventions we select for our clients. This model sits nicely within a biopsychosocial approach to healthcare bringing also to our attention the consideration that the therapist will have been influenced by many factors that they may or may not be aware of.
A challenging question posed was “Are the interventional goals selected, more about us or our client?” Reflecting on our interactions allows us to acknowledge what factors shape the interventions and whether they were truly born from the client’s perspective or the clinician’s.
- Gaining entry
- Conceptualising the issues
- Interpret/Evaluate [the intervention]
And where does this leave us? What about maximising our strengths not just focusing on improving weaknesses? Or perhaps making the most of our colleagues by recognising that although we may have the same professional title, in fact our skill sets may offer a wide range of differing approaches to the same problem, some more suited to certain folk than others.
We could aspire to become a Scientist Practitioner; Deep Generalist or Eclectic…or at least have our eyes open to recognise someone who is one of these and learn all we can from them.
It may not be possible to be completely impartial when facilitating rehab because we are human. Instead of aiming to suppress our unique human qualities, at least we can be aware of them, play to their strengths and accept that all our actions will be borne from our own experiences.
Above all, the evening showed us that in the traditional realms of healthcare, there is much that can be applied from the private and elite sports world, disseminated to all those who are involved in assisting people to seek health, wellness and fitness through gently questioning why we do what we do.
Thank you Gary for a glimpse into your world.
Corlett, J. (1996) Sophistry, Socrates and sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist 10, 94
Cropley, B., Hanton, S., Miles, A.,& Niven, A. (2010). The Value of Reflective Practice in Professional Development: An Applied Sport Psychology Review. Sport Science Review, Vol. XIX, No 3-4 August.
Friesen, A., & Orlick, T. (2011). Holistic Sport Psychology: Investigating the Roles, Operating standards, and intervention goals and strategies of holistic consultants. Journal of Excellence Issue 14.
Henriksen, K., Diment, G., & Hansen, J. (2011). Professional Philosophy: Inside the delivery of sport psychology service at Team Denmark. Sport Science Review, Vol. XX, No 1-2 April.
Poczwardowski, A., Sherman, C.P., & Ravizza, K. (2004). Professional Philosophy in the sport psychology service delivery: Building on theory and practice. Sport Psychologist, 18, 445-463