Persons-in-Relation and Q Methodology
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 18 - Issue 1/2 p. 17- 35
We know ourselves through our actions in the world in relation to others. This philosophy as developed by John Macmurray is the ground on which my colleague and I are basing our work as educational researchers in the field of counseling. We are working collaboratively to develop new approaches to learning and discovering more about the process by which persons gain self-knowledge as well as knowledge about other persons in the helping relationship. Our questions focus on what it means to be a person and persons for each other particularly in the experience of a guide, counselor or therapist and a client who meet in a helping relationship. We deeply believe that for real self-knowledge to develop we must go beyond mere professionality in the helping relation and dare to meet each other as persons. Q methodology attracts us as a philosophy and approach which seems to provide a way to discover and uncover some important aspects of self-knowledge. It is congruent with our philosophy as in its method the person is in action, operating on or communication with a series of self-referential statements; thus becoming and agent in the world.