Identity Claims

I identify as a husband, father, son, and brother (relational identities), a man (gender identity), a student of postmodern epistemologies (interest identity), and as an educator (professional identity), distinguishing myself from health professionals. I assert my professional identity by categorizing the two types of work I engage in as (1) Narrative Informed Relational Interviewing and (2) Intimate Partners Relationship Education.

I employ Narrative Informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) for purposes akin to those of an Educational Diagnostician. In my work, I utilize NIRI as an approach to externalise the problems, epistemologies, insight, lack of insight, and learning challenges experienced by my clients.

Parlance

To clearly define my role as an educator to clients and other stakeholders, I incorporate educational terminology into my work and communications. Rather than using terms like ‘practice’ or ‘clinic’, I refer to the space where we meet as ‘my room’. Similarly, rather than identifying myself as a ‘practitioner’ or ‘clinician’, I prefer to describe myself as an ‘Intimate Partners Relationship Educator (IPRE)’. I use the word ‘session’ in the sense as it is widely used outside of health. More commonly, I take up a decentralized stance, positioning myself as a non-expert by referring to myself as their ‘worker’. This is a preferred descriptor of my role where the client couple are seen to be the experts in the relationship they share (White, 1990).

By utilizing educational language, I make a deliberate effort to distinguish my work as that of ‘an educator’ rather than ‘a health professional’. I refrain from using the term ‘therapy’ and instead emphasize ‘having a conversation’ with the client. This approach ensures clarity about the nature of the services I provide and aligns with my role as an educator.

Differences

While the work of a counsellor may appear similar to mine, there are fundamental differences in origins, intent, and desired outcomes.

My work originates within the realm of education, whereas counselling typically falls under the domain of health. I utilize Narrative Informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI) for educational assessment, inquiry, and diagnostic purposes, similar to an Educational Diagnostician. This contrasts with counselling, which often focuses on therapeutic approaches to similar issues.

In my practice, the desired outcomes emphasize competency and skill development, rather than focusing primarily on well-being and emotional health as in counselling.

While there may be helpful and healthy therapeutic outcomes as a result of my work with clients and their relationships, the underlying origins, intentions, and desired outcomes differ significantly from that of counselling. 

Summary

My professional claim to identity is communicated to every client in our Initial Disclosure Conversation (IDC) and is documented as such. I describe myself in the IDC as an Intimate Partners Relationship Educator (IPRE) who utilizes Narrative Informed Relational Interviewing (NIRI). I position these roles outside of the realm of emotional health and well-being. Futhermore, a link to this page about professional claim to identity is on the online booking form so it is acknowledged before a session is booked. A link is also on the footer of every page on my website.