June 24, 2007

Quote by Harlene Anderson on not-knowing

"Not-knowing refers to the belief that one person cannot pre-know another person or his or her situation or what is best for them. It refers to the intent and manner with which the coach thinks about and introduces his or her believed knowledge and expertise (what they think they might know). Knowledge and expertise (e.g., whether from research, experience, or theory) are tentatively offered as food for thought and dialogue and remain open to challenge and change." This is a quote by Harlene Anderson (source). Harlene Anderson and Harry Goolishian were the ones who first introduced the concept with that name to the field of coaching and therapy. Here are some references to publications on not-knowing:
  • Anderson, H. (1990) Then and now: From knowing to not-knowing. Contemporary Family Therapy Journal. 12:193-198.
  • Anderson, H. & Goolishian, H. (1992) The client is the expert: A not-knowing approach to therapy. In. S. McNamee & K. Gergen (Eds.). Social Construction and the Therapeutic Process. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
  • Anderson, H. (2005) The myth of not-knowing. Family Process. 44(4):497-504

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