The Teacher's Perspective

I met Anat during our M.Sc. studies. She possessed rich academic knowledge in psychology and psychotherapeutic theories but had no practical experience.

My practical experience, then, was comprised of the treatment of nearly 400 cases as a therapeutic mentor and psychotherapist. When Anat became acquainted with my professional background, she asked to learn from my practical experience. I was ready to share my professional experience with her because I sought professional peer reflection on my work.

The environment for professional discussions developed inevitably between Anat and I, two practitioners coming from different backgrounds and different previous academic and practical experience, each having different professional needs, which the other could fulfil in the collaboration. Both of us developed professionally due to this interaction between us, which led to the establishment of our joint practice Kelim Shluvim, in 2006. We employed other practitioners in therapeutic mentoring and supervised their work. The necessity arose to compose academic grounding for my intuitive therapeutic approach in order to make it communicable and transferable to other practitioners in our field.

The transfer of practical knowledge can be possible if the teacher takes responsibility for the creation of an environment, in which the student can feel confident to express his ideas and challenge his teacher. The teacher must also be able to accept critical feedback from his student and develop through it. The teacher places himself in a vulnerable position, needing to explain and justify his professional decision-making processes, based on his practical experience and academic knowledge, to his trainee. This is an apologetic stance for the teacher and not the traditional authoritative one.

In such an environment, I presented vignettes of my cases and explained my therapeutic decision-making processes, to Anat while she explored, analysed and reflected on them. On several occasions, Anat worked with me as a co-therapist, treating different members of the same families simultaneously. After the therapy sessions, she would reflect upon my work and I would explain and justify my interventions.