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The specifics of the subject area of ​​practical psychologists

The main features of practical psychology show the main difference between psychotechnical theory and traditional psychological knowledge. It consists in the fact that the subject of practical psychology is the “method that cuts and creates the space of psychotechnical work with an object”. It is the method that acts as the central link in the system of interaction of the psychologist-practitioner with the client. And depending on what and how he does, an understanding is formed of what is happening and why at this moment in the psyche of the client and the psychologist. As a result, the psychotechnical theory is enriched by generalizations of a special kind, which, by their origin, are universal ways of working together to overcome psychological difficulties.

The subject of practical psychologists is the mental reality of people, as well as the factors affecting it.

Mental reality is a truly existing mental, subjective reflection; phenomena of the psyche, consciousness



Reflection is a universal property of matter, consisting in the ability of some objects to reproduce with varying degrees of accuracy certain categorical moments, qualities and relationships of other objects

Moreover, if in academic psychology psychic reality appears to be divided into separate concepts and categories, conceivable within the framework of various explanatory schemes, scientific theories and directions, then a feature of psychological practice is that a person appears in it holistically, in the unity of its specific processes, qualities, abilities. Therefore, the psychologist-practitioner is forced to use a combination of different methods that have developed in different schools and areas of psychotherapeutic practice.

When considering psychic reality, it is necessary to understand what subjectivity is as applied to the human psyche, how it is related to the surrounding objective reality. Subjectivity is a category of psychology that expresses the essence of the human inner world. Subjective (subjectum) - in translation from Latin - “subject”, ie underlying. Subjectivity as the initial beginning of activity is commensurate with the term "subjectivity", indicating the prevailing role of man and his psyche in interaction (active, not reactive) with the surrounding world and its development.

In special dictionaries, “subjectivity” is defined in two ways (positively and negatively):

• personal attitude to something;

• lack of objectivity, one-sidedness, partiality.

Obviously, these two formulations reflected the humanitarian and natural-scientific paradigms in the understanding of man and his psyche.

Scientific paradigm - a set of samples and value systems, norms and rules that determine the main directions of scientific research in a particular historical period.

The natural-scientific paradigm of the study of the psychic is associated with an attempt to implement in relation to its principles and methods of natural-scientific knowledge. The organizational design of psychology as a science corresponding to this structure began in the middle of the nineteenth century, when the principles of natural scientific knowledge began to be considered as the most acceptable form of a reasonable approach to the world. Since that time, psychology has been trying, along with such sciences as physics, chemistry, biology, and others, to use knowledge of the requirements of objectivity, universality, necessity, and verifiability (reproducibility) as reliability criteria. This means that the human psyche begins to be considered in the logic of causal relations and explained by the laws of the natural world.

The humanitarian paradigm focuses researchers on the recognition of the unique nature of the psyche of each person, on the impossibility of “withdrawing” when studying a specific mental phenomenon from the whole context of people's life. Consequently, the methods of understanding psychology (empathic listening, observation, etc.) are recognized as the main methods of studying the mental.

To understand psychic reality, the following provision is fundamentally important: all phenomena of the inner world of a (subjective) person are connected with the external world (objective). Every psychic phenomenon gets its certainty and its content through the connections and relations of a person with the surrounding reality. The psychological world of man is the world in man and man in the world. The inner world is always unique, and at the same time, he actively reproduces the world around him in this uniqueness. Thus, the psychic is as internally as externally (V.I. Slobodchikov).

We speak of the psyche when the objective world appears before us as the world perceived by us. The mental is both the side of being (i.e., has an organic nature) and the reflection of being. Human development in this regard can be understood as an advancement from cognition, reflection of the world around us, to the ability of perception, awareness and self-knowledge. Subjectivity does not divide, does not oppose, but connects the person and the world. Given the unique uniqueness of human personalities, these connections are extremely complex and diverse.

Thus, the existence of two paradigms that determine modern trends in the development of practical psychology (natural-scientific and humanitarian), on the one hand, and the presence of one's own (biased, interested, subjective) attitude to the fundamental values ​​of a person’s life, on the other hand, orient the psychologist towards his work of the following realities:

- the psychic life of the client (as it really is) and what it is thought of by the client itself;

- psychometric data obtained using a specific (to some extent objective) method regarding the psychic reality of the client;

- theories in the light of which the obtained psychological data are interpreted;

- value-semantic attitude of a psychologist to life in general, to other people

- a specific situation, topic (problem) and tasks of interaction with the client.

In this regard, a feature of the activity of a practical psychologist is that while maintaining the psychic reality of the client as a topic of interaction, it also affects the person’s inner world based on ethical considerations and recognition of the value of the person’s personality. However, this effect is indirect in nature (in contrast, for example, from the surgical intervention of a doctor). Using a generalized knowledge of people in general, a psychologist helps, on the one hand, to realize a person’s uniqueness, and on the other hand, the typicality of the main manifestations of his mental activity and the problems that he faces. Thus, the main mobilizing factor of the upcoming changes is activated - the very psychic reality of this person.

The specifics of the subject area and the activities of practical psychologists are more clearly visible when comparing them with the activities of scientists and researchers.
The logic of a scientist's activity is the logic of a constant search in the world of ideas and concepts. First, he searches for problems not yet noticed by others, and then - answers to them unknown to others. This markedly distinguishes his activity from the practice. As a source material for the scientist are facts - phenomena of reality, presented in the light of existing scientific views. Then the fact that the actor acts as the basis for evaluation - the phenomenon and its properties - for the scientist is the object of understanding.

Revealing the facts is a rather complex type of research activity. This is due to the fact that the same phenomenon can be interpreted differently in the framework of various theoretical approaches. For example, the rudeness of a person in relation to colleagues at work can be interpreted in terms of aggressiveness, which expresses the internal conflict of his subconscious drives. At the same time, this phenomenon by a psychologist can be interpreted in terms of a socio-psychological analysis of intergroup relations, as a manifestation of intergroup discrimination in the form of ingroup favoritism and outgroup hostility.

Thus, already at the stage of selection of phenomena for subsequent research, a scientist, whether a psychologist or a teacher, finds himself in a situation of choice. Therefore, all further matters only within the framework of his chosen theoretical approach. It is in this “conceptual space” that all the subsequent work of the researcher takes place, which:

- correlates the revealed facts with the explanation of the causes and mechanisms of their appearance available within the framework of this theory and finds those that do not fall under this explanatory mechanism. Thus, he identifies the “problem field” of the future study, which includes unexplained facts and “unsaid” theoretical propositions;

- begins to review the explanatory possibilities of the theory in order to create new conceptual tools or clarify the content of existing concepts and categories;

- carries out the structuring of the conceptual space in order to correlate newly introduced concepts with existing ideas both in this subject area and in related sciences;

- on the basis of the actions taken, it comes to the construction of a new conceptual system - a concept characterized by internal consistency and consistency with external scientific structures;

- on the basis of the theory presented within the framework of the concept, it can take a fresh look at the phenomena of objective reality, which finds expression in the system of criteria and indicators developed by him to correlate essential features with their manifestations in the world of objects;

- armed with these criteria and indicators, he again turns to the phenomena of objective reality and studies them in a volume sufficient to establish how the investigated property is presented in the most typical conditions of real reality. The formation of ideas about the norm of one or another quality revealed by him is one of the results of a scientist’s research activity.

Thus, research logic is the logic of many limitations and sophistication, due to the requirements of scientific clarity and evidence. In science, as a rule, a lot of reservations are given regarding each result, which are designed to quite clearly limit the scope of its applicability. This is due to the fact that the scientist is only responsible for what he investigated. Therefore, a true scientist always seeks to avoid an expansive interpretation of his results and conclusions.

The logic of psychologist practice is the logic of action aimed at using the results of scientific research in the interests of those who turned to him for help. This means that the practitioner works with those who themselves turn to him for a certain type of service. The psychologist works with “clients” - people who need psychological help.

Another distinguishing feature of the practice is that it always relies on the norm identified in the course of scientific research.

The norm is a) the optimal state of the object, assuming its most stable existence, most of all corresponding to certain conditions and functioning tasks; b) the initial beginning for comparing and evaluating data; c) the absence of deviations; d) a descriptive description of the positive features.

It is the norm that serves as the starting point for all further actions of the practical psychologist. The latter, first of all, translates the difficulties of every person who turns to him into the language of his science. If a person’s appeal is connected with his problems in relations with children, the psychologist first of all translates the words of the person who has turned into the mainstream of the psychological diagnosis, that is, describes the life phenomena presented in the client’s story in terms of his science - the psychology of family relations, on behalf of which he carries out practical activities .

The next step is to assess the significance of the manifestations of certain factors. For this, the practitioner also uses those ideas about the norm that were developed by a research scientist. The procedure for correlating the norm with a real object is based, as a rule, on the use of certain standardized methods of studying psychological qualities. For the psychologist, these are various test methods that allow to identify the relationship between the state of the real object and the requirements of the norm.

If the deviations are significant and exceed the value of the permissible fluctuations in the norm (and it is also indicated by the researcher), then the practitioner records the presence of such a discrepancy and offers the client his services for corrective action. The impact of a psychologist is certain procedures for regulating mental states. The result of the practice is the change in the qualitative and quantitative indicators of the difficulty with which the client turned to the practice.

Thus, the logic of the practice is the logic of the return of the system to the norm identified in science. At the same time, the practitioner, through his application of the norm, is constantly “testing her strength”. As a result, the data bank accumulated by him can serve as the basis for clarifying the norm. Thus, the practitioner realizes some functions of the researcher, but he cannot consider himself a real researcher until he calls into question the initial theoretical provisions that describe the norm and everything connected with it. Then the practitioner becomes a theorist and begins to combine practical work with research.

The difference between research psychologists and practical psychologists is that the goal of the activity of research psychologists is a new theoretical explanation of the essence of the object and observed phenomena, and the purpose of the practice of psychologist-research is to identify and record the state of the object according to the most essential parameters, as well as directly corrective -developing effect on the object based on the account of identified patterns and known norms.
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