Reflexive Practices

Reflexivity seems to cover and define the vast majority of my practice. The underlying ideas, that I teach and that I practice. In my own life and practice, the use of reflexivity has become a guide for my positioning as a clinician, for the analysis of data, for teaching, for behaving generally in the world. Mostly the use of reflexive practices has enabled me to make my practice daily efficient, relevant, highly ethical and respectful and generating possibilities.

What is reflexivity ?

This is the uniquely human skill that men have to observe, verify, and check a relationship or a simple act as she is doing it. At the same time the extraordinary human nature allows us in reflexivity to do something about these relationships that are observed alter, modify, change them. At the same time, the same human may observe his response to it all and observe his own questionings with his theories, dogmas, religious ideas, philosophical stance, Thinking about all that may give you a headache, but that is what we human being are capable of accomplishing, all these levels of awareness present at the same time. In every profession, it is advisable to use frequently our ability to be reflexive. In the heart of reflexivity one finds the human ability to be willing and able to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else, that doing remaining all that we are. That is the etymology of empathy (Litt. Being in pain with). The reflexive posture is naturally Socratic. Following one of Socrates favorites “I know only one thing is that I know nothing”. Socrates demonstrates that a question should not already carry its own answers. A questions by nature could lead to more questions, but should remain uncertain, and allow to open possibilities. It could be argued that this movement is simplistic in some aspects. We believe that it is needed and enormously demanding in a practitioner’s daily practice. Inviting reflexivity in the therapy room means that we never be to certain of our own certainties, mostly when we invite someone else.

Reflexivity matters because its practice reminds us that our perceptions our truths are not necessarily universal. We are invited to think differently to decentrate (Piaget, 1950, 1956,1970, 1974). It mainly allows us to respect the fact that any theory regardless of its complexity, interest and depth will never be able to encompass the depth of an individual and that we should remain open, flexible, in movement.

Reflexivity is the human ability to turn the mirror inward and observe oneself as an object. One becomes one-s own object of observation. This movement done with honesty and courage prevents dogma, objectivation and at worst incompetence.