International Practice Development Journal


Title of ArticleFlowing like a river: facilitation in practice development and the evolution of critical-creative companionship
Type of ArticleOriginal Practice Development and Research
Author/sAngie Titchen
ReferenceVolume 8, Issue 1, Article 4
Date of PublicationMay 2018
Keywordscritical companionship, critical creativity, facilitation, human flourishing


Beginnings: Using a river landscape metaphor, the purpose of this paper is to locate critical creativity in the evolution of practice development in the UK and show how it can be facilitated through critical-creative companionship. Critical creativity is a new landscape for practice development that has evolved through three decades of a deepening understanding of: the philosophical foundations of practice development (bedrocks); paradigms (landscapes); projects/studies (gardens); and practice development/research roles, relationships and skills (gardeners). As a practice development practitioner, facilitator and researcher, I have helped shape the course of the river, peaking with the slow-burn, yet intense, co-creation of critical creativity.

Panorama, flow and transformation: A panoramic view of the river is offered as it changes over time. This view includes the river’s changes of flow and direction, powered by different philosophical and theoretical influences and resultant transformations in practice development practice/research and facilitation.

Unfolding: I telescope in on the critical creativity landscape, showing how it is a synthesis of previous influences and how the critical companionship of my earlier work flowed gently into critical-creative companionship. I show broad-brush how critical-creative companions help people to use the philosophical, theoretical and methodological mandalas of critical creativity, not only in their practice development, but also in their own being and becoming critical-creative companions.

Conclusion and implications for practice development and inquiry: Critical-creative companions help people to work in the gardens of critical creativity to embody and live what might seem difficult, complex and mysterious. Becoming a critical-creative companion takes time. It requires a scholarly approach to practice and the development of enabling facilitation skills and experiential and theoretical understanding. Reading resources are suggested.

This article by Angie Titchen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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