All of our trainees develop the capacity to be at their ‘growing edge’, that place within where they are both ‘on solid ground’, and at the same time, in ‘uncharted territory’ or ‘on unsteady ground’. We learn and we grow best when we have one foot rooted in what we know, and the other where we do not know yet.
The edge is defined by our dual capacity to be rooted in the solidity of our theoretical understanding and our lived experience, while also being willing to venture towards what is not yet clearly understood, lived or learned. We learn venture forth in a way that explores openings, that has the feel of dynamic tension as well as movement.
We work with the psychological functions of support and challenge to develop ourselves at our growing edge. In our PSEN training, we all learn to take in support in order to be more congruent and more firmly established what already is. Supported allows to to gradually relax into a more full experience of what we have already become.
We also learn how to take up the challenge of where we have yet to go, and of what we have not yet become. Many of us have become threatened by challenge, and tend to perceive it as criticism and not assistance. A healthy practitioner seeks out good challenges and can feel supported by them, in order to go and grow where they haven’t been able to before.
Our PSEN trainees explore the four quadrants of Support and Challenge, as a way to define their developmental edge:
- The Support of Being Supported.
- The Challenge of Being Supported.
- The Support of Being Challenged.
- The Challenge of Being Challenged.
When our practitioners are actively engaged in a learning process properly balanced by the support and challenge of their teachers and peers, as well as by their interactions with clients in their practicum sessions, they feel enlivened and excited by the potential for fresh encounters, as well as rewarded by a gradually developed sense of Mastery.