I propose that in order for us to reimagine education in psychotherapy (REP), these 3 types of knowledge—content, process, and conditional—can serve as a primary conceptual framework.
Competence in content knowledge can create a false confidence of ability. Meanwhile, analogous to a good music not necessarily needing music theory to make good music, it also begs the question if content knowledge needs to serve as a basis for process and conditional knowledge. Perhaps if schools treat these 3 domains ecologically, and not hierarchical; learners might experience the critical interplay early in their higher education.
There are two different ways to think about how we educate psychotherapists. The first is a banking model. Traditionally, in a banking model, we teach the theory, research, fill it in the learner’s minds, attempting to download and fill the learner’s mind with knowledge, and about 4 years later, we then send them off for practicum and begin the real work.
The second way is a kindling model. In this approach, we flip the banking model on its head, and start with the action, igniting a deep interest while continuously fanning the flame, and then learn to synthesise, join the dots and form new conscious knowledge—after the fact.
Ben and Carrie got me on their show for one of their episodes. (Listen to Episode 11, regarding the problem with an intake model. More about this in the book, The First Kiss). What they are doing is so underrated. I asked them in passing, “Wouldn’t it be super interesting to hear what you both learned after doing the first 20 episodes, so that we can learn too?”
I was surprised that they took up the invitation.
This is a guest post by Ben Fineman and Caroline Wiita.