From Identification of Anomaly
to Deriving of Personal Operant Significance
As the process progressed, Anat became an experienced therapist in her own right and expanded her professional understanding through studying other approaches to psychotherapy. During the process, Anat developed her own individual approach to practice and defended it with academic-theoretical justifications and vignettes from her own practice. My professional development progressed due to my continued practice, the insight obtained from the research and my accelerated, extensive academic reading.
In this third stage, the discussion concerning the guiding principle and its operant practical significance continued with me attempting to justify it, defending my professional approach. I presented my understanding and interpretation of the guiding principle to Anat.
Anat identified exceptions to the presented guiding principle and through presenting incidents from my vignettes or her practice experience which do not align with the guiding principle. As an alternative, she presented into the discussion a suggestion of her alternative approach to such occurrences. At this stage of the research process, the roles were often reversed in our discussions. I took on the role of providing examples from my cases which did not align with the approach which Anat suggested. As my practice experience developed, and my ability to academically - theoretically ground my approach improved, our discussions became more profound. Frequently, we agreed regarding the ultimate goal for our interventions, but each advocated a different practical approach to achieve this goal. Through Anat’s suggestions, she motivated me to elucidate my professional understandings, extracting further components of my tacit knowledge.
This comprised a process that we define as ReachingOut, a movement out of one's own knowledge base and viewpoint, into another person symbolic world, in order to understand him and how he interprets knowledge. This is necessary in order to transfer an understanding to another person, by presenting it through analogies to concepts in her symbolic world which she understands. If this process is not successful, the understanding must be revised, amended or rephrased in other terms until it becomes transferable to the other and applicable by her in practice. New knowledge created following the efficient transfer of the understanding through dialogue with the other.
The discussions between us led to the development of a new shared understanding and evolved into the composition of a revised version of the guiding principle of practical knowledge. The shared operant significance was derived from the guiding principle, but each of us applied the operant significance differently in our work, dependent on our individual approach and capabilities.