Stage 1-4 of Duoethnography Dialogue
The following diagrams illustrate the four stages of each dialogue between Anat and me and demonstrate our model for tacit knowledge extraction and transfer.
At the end of each dialogue process, an important, collaborative guiding principle was eventually composed which became an integral part of our practice approach. Individual, practical meanings related to this guiding principle, were derived by each of us during the process, which directed our decision making processes in our individual practices. The understandings we reached and the guiding principles we composed comprise a representation of my tacit knowledge following extraction and explication. Their utilisation in practice by both teacher and student, illustrate that this information can be defined as transferable practical knowledge. The accumulation of practical knowledge enabled the construction of our model of practical knowledge in psychotherapy, which serves as a basis for our training programs.
Following the University’s recognition of our collaboration, during a supervisory session in which we discussed collaborative methodologies, Anat located and suggested the duoethnography methodology, which was first conceptualized and published in 2005 by Sawyer and Norris. Duoethnography is defined by Norris, Sawyer and Lund, (2012) as a collaborative research method employing two or more researchers, that brings together their biographies in order to provide multiple understandings of a social phenomenon. By using their own life stories as a site of an investigation and by co-creating dialogic narratives, they make it possible for the reader to engage with the conversation and gain the perspectives of each participant and his own. The authors also mentioned that the duoethnography process was transformative for the writers due to its dialectic nature. (Norris, Sawyer and Lund, 2012). Due to these conditions of the methodology and especially the equal position the participants which made it preferable over apprenticeship, Anat and I adopted this methodology and this was recognised by our supervisors.
Duoethnography was also adopted because according to Sawyer and Liggett (2012), duoethnography is grounded in Pinar’s (1975) concept of currere, which comprises a critical form of autobiography and curriculum studies. Therefore, the methodology enabled both of us to explore and present our personal and professional experience. Sawyer and Liggett (2012) stated that in duoethnography the researchers examine the multiple dialectical relationships within their interrelated curriculums of lived experience. These dialectical relationships are both regressive, progressive, analytical and synthetic, because the researchers examine how their narrative is related to and derived from past and present events, and during the process, they deconstruct and re-conceptualize their perceptions (Sawyer and Liggett, 2012). According to Norris (2008) and Sawyer and Norris (2013), the process of Currere is based on the recognition that conceptualization is transtemporal and changes over time (Norris, 2008; Sawyer and Norris, 2013). According to Sawyer and Liggett (2012) duoethnographers explore life experiences by relating to them as curricular text, and based on currere’s dynamic transtemporal, spatial, and conceptual interplay, they evoke, interrupt, and create new perceptions and meanings through the process. Sawyer and Liggett (2012, referred to their previous work with Norris and Lund and stated that the multi-dialogic process provides an arena for the destruction of preconceived views about a particular subject or occurrence and the researchers relationship to it (Norris & Sawyer, 2004; Norris, Sawyer, & Lund, 2012; Sawyer & Norris, 2009 in Sawyer and Liggett, 2012). (Sawyer and Liggett, 2012). Sawyer and Liggett (2012) also mentioned Roth (2005) who stated that the dialogue with the co-researcher in duoethnography promotes a conscious awareness of new constructions of meaning within a social context. The researchers each position their autoethnography opposite the other’s and the process enables a systematic method of dealing with one’s own prejudices and prejudgments, instead of merely suspending judgment or submission of one participant (Roth, 2005 in Sawyer and Liggett, 2012). This attribute of duoethnography enabled me to explore and reconsider my DMP and choice of intervention in the vignettes which I presented to my peer-practitioner in light of her feedback. This helped me to understand the rationale for my choices that occurred in light of the circumstances that existed at that time. However, looking back at them in retrospect, following experiences that occurred later in the case or in my personal and professional life, I may have chosen a different intervention. More importantly, my co-researcher-peer-practitioner provided critical feedback on my DMP and frequently could suggest a different course of action. This dialogue made us aware of our own prejudices and prejudgments and enabled us to deal with them, while becoming conscious of alternative constructions of meaning.
My personal knowledge and practice experience was the focus of the research and the source of the practical knowledge we sought to conceptualise. Sawyer and Norris (2013) mentioned Oberg (2002), who summarized the duoethnographic method as one that enables the researchers to consider themselves the site of the research rather than the topic of it. By that consideration, the researchers examine their stories, memories, and critical incidents in a third space which is created between the self, collaborative partner and the context. According to the author, this method enables the focus of creating transparency as well as an articulation of perspectives, thoughts, and understandings, in order to create self-reflexive reconstruction (Oberg, 2002, in Sawyer and Norris, 2013). Together with my co-researcher, we examined the personal and professional life experiences that underlie my basic assumptions from which the rationale for my choice of intervention is derived. This occurred within the research arena which comprised a third space between the co-researchers and the professional context. My practical knowledge was deconstructed into its basic building blocks and through reflexive dialogue with a peer, practitioner was reconstructed into interpersonal transferable practical knowledge.
The notion of transparency in duoethnography, described by Oberg (2002), which provides the reader with insight into the dialogue which occurred, was also an important attribute of the methodology for us. Little qualitative research has been published regarding tacit knowledge in psychotherapy, nor literature describing processes for its extraction. The work of Stiles (1995) and that of Dowd and Courchaine (2002) are two published examples of this which I found in literature. Our tacit knowledge extraction and conceptualization process was constructive and developed dynamically during the training process, and in my view, such a process is best investigated by the two participants in it. Therefore, it was necessary to provide the reader with direct access to the investigative process which we conducted whose complexity needed to be carefully unfolded.
Since we became professional partners in 2006, Anat and I conducted regular, continuous, reflective, professional discussions, which took place in face to face meetings which we scheduled on a regular weekly basis, telephone calls, text messages, emails and online collaborative text documents. Our discussions obviously took place in Hebrew, the language which we and our patients spoke. Our dialogue in our training-peer supervision framework was not transcribed in English and saved as a database because it was not recognised by our previous supervisors as our methodology. Beginning work with our new supervisors, Anat and I embarked upon a duoethnography, in order to contextualise our training space and conduct another stage of our the dialogic process transcribed simultaneously in text. The duoethnography would provide solid evidence and comprise a database which would clearly demonstrate for our supervisors and other readers, the knowledge extraction and transfer process which we had undertaken. Duoethnography would provide a space for each of us to analyse our own understandings during the process, provide the reader with an insight of the authentic process we undertook and enable the reader to contextualise our individual contribution, analysis and understanding. Presenting the reader with our interpretation of our subjective experience of an abstract process, would not provide the full picture of the process because it would not provide the reader with access and insight into the actual process which occurred in the third space described by Oberg (2002). The dialogue in a duoethnography provides a closer view of the dyadic process to the reader, by presenting concrete evidence of it, and enables fulfilment of the trustworthiness criteria of a qualitative methodology, and specifically transparency and authenticity.
Norris, Sawyer and Lund (2012) stated that readers of duoethnographies are recognized as active meaning-makers within the research text as described by Rosenblatt. (Rosenblatt, 1978). Norris, Sawyer and Lund (2012) referred to duoethnographies as “fluid texts where readers witness researchers in the act of narrative exposure and reconceptualization” as described by Pinar (1975) as they interrogate and reinscribe their previously held beliefs (Pinar, 1975 in Norris Sawyer and Lund, 2012). Norris, Sawyer and Lund (2012) stated that duoethnographers undertake the research act with multiple and often interrelated goals, and referred to Barber (1989) who mentioned that one goal is to learn about oneself from the “Other” (Barber, 1989). Our choice of duoethnography was reinforced by the notion raised by Norris, Sawyer and Lund, (2012) that the presentation of two voices each presenting their perspective, encourages the reader to develop his own (Norris, Sawyer and Lund, 2012). This understanding aligned with the premise of our approach to teaching in our training courses, in which we each present our students with our different perspectives, which often initiates debate and legitimizes the development of the personal perspective of each trainee.
In 2018, we embarked on composing a dialogue in English text in accordance with the duoethnography method, within a collaborative online document. This procedure enabled the transparency required for the level of authenticity and trustworthiness which we demanded from ourselves as ethical researchers. The duoethnography was a collaborative method, in which Anat wrote her part of the dialogue and due to my dysgraphia, Anat typed my verbal narrative which I dictated to her. My statements then underwent my review and English language editing by Anna, a native English speaker. Following her editing, Anat and I each reviewed my parts in the manuscript and accepted or revised Anna’s amendments, in order to ensure that the text was still an accurate reflection of what I intended to express. Therefore, each participant, fulfilled an equal role, selecting and editing our own words within the dialogue in the duoethnography.
The dialogue in the duoethnography attempted to reflect some of the professional discussions which we had conducted over the previous eleven years. However, I have already discussed the distinction between the roles of teacher and student in our setting which existed at the outset of the process, from the power-relations and knowledge discrepancy of the diad in the traditional apprenticeship setting. Furthermore, for reasons already discussed, the dialogue in the duoethnography was composed at the end of the research process when both participants were by then experienced practitioners each of whom possessed their individual approach to practice with children, adolescents and their parents. Therefore, it was difficult to envision the roles of teacher and trainee, and instead, it comprised a dialogue between two experienced professional peers. Nevertheless, in a similar way to our previous discussions, the first sections of the duoethnography began with my presentation of a vignette from one of my cases involving a child, adolescent and his family, which included an intervention which I conducted with them. During the twelve years of our dialogue which began in 2006 and achieved a textual context in our duoethnography in 2018, my tacit practical knowledge was gradually extracted, and composed in professional discourse, through the transfer to another practitioner. The dialogue in the duoethnography authentically demonstrates this process to the reader. While we composed the duoethnography, I conceptualised the sequence of four stages of the procedure for the process of tacit knowledge extraction which we undertook.