Reflective practice

Reflective practice is a method for ongoing professional development and a way to strengthen your work with individual clients or prevention projects or programs. For counselors, reflective practice is a way to improve your work by deliberately pausing to reflect upon and analyze the work you are doing and have done in order to move forward with new insights, awareness, and competence. One simple way to think about reflective practice is by asking the questions What?, So what?, and Now what? These questions can guide reflective practice. To clarify:

  • “What” is asking questions such as “What happened?”; “What action did I carry out?”; “What did I observe?”
  • “So what” refers to questions such as “Why has this happened,” “What did I observe,” or “What did it matter?”
  • “Now what” asks questions like “What can I do differently to improve?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “What are alternative ways of thinking about/approaching this?”

Reflective practice can be something to engage in on your own as a counselor but it is also essential to engage in reflective practice collaboratively. Because we often have our own lenses that limit the scope of our perspectives, collaborating with others is a way to broader our lens and develop new insights by collaborating.

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To Prepare

  • What do you wish you would have considered earlier on in the project?
  • What lessons did you learn about yourself in terms of giving and receiving feedback?
  • What additional elements do you wish you could add to this project?
  • Will you carry out your Social Change Project? Why or why not?


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