How to self reflect and how it can benefit my practice



Being able to recall what happened, and turn your insights into an action plan isn’t always easy.

What is meant by reflection?

  • A definition of reflective thinking:
    • evaluating your first-hand experience of an event, process or activity, then;
    • analyzing the reasons for the things that have gone well and less well, then;
    • learning from the experience to improve or refine your performance if a similar situation arises again
  • Reflective writing is evidence of reflective thinking in which your personal experience forms a case study or data set for exploration
  • Reflective writing is a method for transforming this powerful subjective experience into a form of academic evidence by putting it into a broader context and drawing out its implications

Keep track of your experiences and how they made you feel at the time by using a diary, journal or reflective learning log. Later on, you can use this accumulated experience to identify patterns or make generalizations about your ways of working. This will allow you to compare your experience with the literature and draw conclusions that identify plans for how to tackle similar situations differently in the future or draw on your experience of what has gone well to gain confidence.

There is a technique known as the STAR technique. By adopting the STAR technique and using questions that require these types of answers, it allows individuals to self reflect on their own actions and experiences to generate feedback for their sessions.


This is about describing a situation so that the interviewer can understand what is happening, and give context or background to a situation. For example, if you are asked a question about time management, your response will need to include the details of the project you were working on, when it happened, where you were and who you were working with.


The task refers to your exact role in the situation. You need to be specific and ensure that the interviewer knows exactly what duties you were tasked with, rather than the rest of the team. This focuses on your role and what you did to complete the task.


This is the most important part of the STAR technique. It will allow you to showcase the necessary skills the employer is looking for that you specifically did as part of the task. Using ‘I’ in your responses as opposed to team actions will help identify your personal contribution and display your abilities and skills. Keep in mind, the interviewer will not be familiar with your work history so don’t be afraid to share a lot of detail. Avoid institutional language and acronyms.

In this section, you are trying to portray how you determined what the best response to a situation was and how you got other team members involved. This also provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills.

For example, a common question asked is about dealing with a difficult person on the team. You would talk about how you decided to take a particular action to improve the situation and to avoid making it worse or upsetting to the individual.

if you are asked about dealing with a difficult personality on your team you would talk about how you decided to take a certain course of action to avoid making the situation worse or upsetting the individual.


The result is the last section of the STAR technique. It should end on a positive note and be a result that can be quantified. Examples include repeat business or an increase in sales by 15% or saving the team 5 hours a week. An interviewer will want to know what you learned from that situation, and if there is anything you would do differently the next time you were faced with that situation or something similar.

The STAR technique empowers you to demonstrate your relevant experience with the interviewer in a structured manner. I recommend doing some extensive preparation before the interview so that you can have some great examples to showcase.

Reflective practice allows the therapist to do their job to the highest standards. It ensures that they don’t waste time on methods that don’t work and that they repeat methods that do. Another benefit is that the Therapist is able to self-assess their working methods and apply improvements where

Knowing your own limits

Sometimes a Therapist has to say no, if they are faced with a case they feel they can’t deal with, for whatever reason. Saying no is not a sign of weakness, and understanding this as the therapist is essential. We can’t always deal with everything and therapists are human too. The professional solution is to refer the client to someone else.

Keeping your personal experiences separate

Reflection in this area means the therapist should never discuss their personal experiences with a client, no matter how similar they may be to a situation being described. The ability to reflect on a client’s experiences and remain emotionally detached is essential. Comparing a client’s experiences to their own could mean that they are biased when they give advice, instead of remaining neutral.


Avoiding burn out

Being able to examine a working environment and identify areas of pressure, is essential. Taking a break is important. A Therapist may hear some shocking things from their clients, and being able to separate work and home life is essential.

Therapists work in many different situations, each bringing their own challenges. Being self-employed and having the responsibility of running a business, requires a lot of organisation, but working for a practice, as part of a team, brings different kinds of pressure. Finding the right work environment will alleviate some day-to-day stresses.



Click to access report-4-reflective-practice-supervision-self-care.pdf


Click to access 7c648b2c6f402085bff1e6c700decbb2d449.pdf




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