Reflective Practice Northern Rivers Counselling - Anne Serry

Reflective Practice

If you are considering self-improvement, a reflective practice can help you achieve your goals. A reflective practice is something that is done consistently over time with the expectation of improvement.

This process helps you to evaluate important areas of your life, enabling you to make changes that will enable you to respond more appropriately in certain situations.

What Does Reflective Practice Mean?

Personal assessment is a method of studying your own experiences and developing the way you work or function. It is particularly useful when you are committed to your own personal growth.

A reflective practice can help you learn about yourself.  By focusing on your responses to the world around you and delving deeply into these responses, you can foster your own development and build self-esteem.

By incorporating a self-reflection practice into your life, you can make better decisions that increase connection and opportunity, instead of repeating negative behavior’s that may lead to disappointment or hurt.

By carefully examining oneself, one can recognize areas of his or her life that could benefit from improvement. For example, if you find yourself becoming defensive in work meetings when someone challenges your ideas, you can reflect on your response and consider your triggers. You might then take steps to resolve this issue.

Individuals who engage in regular reflective practice are more self-aware and have a higher emotional IQ, making them better equipped to lead or succeed in positions that require strong social skills.

How To Develop A Reflective Practice Skills?

A reflective practice allows you to examine how you approach daily events, such as decision-making and collaboration. Learnings that can emerge include,

  • Learning how to attend to your needs.
  • Recognising the automatic assumptions you may have.
  • Understanding your patterns.
  • Become more aware of your interpretation of words and behaviours.
  • Observing and questioning your viewpoint.
  • Observation can be an effective way to discover what you do or don’t do that holds you back.
  • Detecting the implicit messages in your words.
  • Note your level of frustration as it arises, without judging it.
  • Becoming attuned to your triggers.

We learn from our past interactions by reflecting on them, and then we implement what we have learned. You could consider this an ongoing upgrade of your own internal software.

The Process of Reflective Practice

Reflective learning is a process that involves questioning yourself about a particular situation and how you responded to it. For example, you would need to describe the situation and the events that led up to it. You would then consider your response and how you felt afterward.

In addition, you may explore how an experience aligned with your expectations, and how you responded to outcomes that did not meet those expectations. You may also examine what future behaviours you might explore.

You question yourself at each stage of the interaction and note your responses, enabling you to gain insights into your own unconscious behaviors.

Reflection And A Reflective Practice

The main difference between a self-reflective practice and an informal one is that a self-reflective practice will be captured or expressed in a type of format. This can be anything from writing to speaking and will usually happen in a predictable pattern that you become very familiar with over time.

A reflection on an experience might be fleeting and insights will come and go. However, a self-reflective practice will help you embed the learnings so you can create more enduring change.

By including a self-reflective practice in your life, you take responsibility for your life, your actions, your behaviors, and your responses.

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