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Professional Philosophy in Sports Psychology

Sports consultancy is a relatively young field, which explains the absence of an overarching consensus in regards to approaches to practice. A particularly controversial concept is professional philosophy in psychology. It refers to “a consultant’s beliefs and values concerning the nature of sport reality, the place of sport in human life, the basic nature of humanity, the nature of human behavior change, and a practitioner’s role in, and the theoretical and practical means of, influencing their clients toward mutually set intervention goals” (as cited in Castillo, 2020, p. 2). The philosophy usually implies a strict structure in levels such as basic beliefs, fundamental values, intervention approaches, specific objectives, as well as behavior change methods (Henriksen et al., 2011). Therefore, it is evident that developing a professional philosophy is an important prerequisite to building an efficient working alliance with the client, which makes it imperative to consulting practice.

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According to Tod (2007), professional philosophy has great potential in terms of its application in an exercise setting. However, its specific purpose in sports psychology is to help athletes make effective changes in their behavior and performance through the development of a specific set of guiding principles for the psychologist. A sound professional philosophy is the foundation for both the client and the consultant to navigate the consulting process. It allows practitioners to use structure to make sense of the complexity, which is often associated with health and sports (Collins et al., 2013). Using a professional philosophy allows the psychologist to conceptualize and understand exercise-related behaviors and anxieties displayed by the client much better (Poczwardowski & Sherman, 2011). Other benefits include congruent and coherent provision of consulting services (Lindsay et al., 2007). Developing a professional philosophy is a key aspect of making sure the psychologist makes decisions guided exclusively by their expert judgment and core values (Martindale & Collins, 2007). The main objectives of the essay are to examine the importance of professional philosophies in sports consultancy as well as to discuss the main components of an effective philosophy.

References

Castillo, E. A. (2020). Developing a professional philosophy for applied exercise psychology: Integrating theory and practice. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 1–13. Web.

Collins, R., Evans-Jones, K., & O’Connor, H. L. (2013). Reflections on three neophyte sport and exercise psychologists’ developing philosophies for practice. The Sport Psychologist, 27(4), 399–409. Web.

Henriksen, K., Diment, G., & Hansen, J. (2011). Professional philosophy: Inside the delivery of sport psychology service at Team Denmark. Sport Science Review, 20(1-2), 5–21. Web.

Lindsay, P., Breckon, J. D., Thomas, O., & Maynard, I. W. (2007). In pursuit of congruence: A personal reflection on methods and philosophy in applied practice. The Sport Psychologist, 21(3), 335–352. Web.

Martindale, A., & Collins, D. (2007). Enhancing the evaluation of effectiveness with professional judgment and decision making. The Sport Psychologist, 21(4), 458–474. Web.

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Poczwardowski, A., & Sherman, C. P. (2011). Revisions to the sport psychology service delivery (SPSD) heuristic: Explorations with experienced consultants. The Sport Psychologist, 25(4), 511–531. Web.

Tod, D. (2007). The long and winding road: Professional development in sport psychology. The Sport Psychologist, 21(1), 94–108. Web.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Professional Philosophy in Sports Psychology." August 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/professional-philosophy-in-sports-psychology/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Professional Philosophy in Sports Psychology'. 30 August.

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