Reflective Practice: Enhancing Practice in Therapeutic Care – practice guide

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Mar 2019

Written by Noel MacNamara Janise Mitchell

Reflective Practice is one of the 10 Essential Elements of Intensive Therapeutic Care. This guide has been developed to support Therapeutic Specialists to engage staff in critical Reflective Practice – the process of learning from experience in order to improve practice, whilst paying attention to staff’s emotional responses and assumptions underpinning their practice. It will provide information to guide key considerations in the provision of Reflective Practice.

 

Key Messages

  • Reflective Practice is the foundation of professional development – it makes meaning from experience and transforms insights into practical strategies for learning, growth and organisational impact
  • Reflective Practice is not replacement for theory, but involves drawing on theory to enhance an understanding of practice; reflection, then, is a key means of applying theory to professional practice and provides opportunities for staff to reflect on all aspects of their practice – professional knowledge, skills and attitudes. It is important to understand the differences between knowledge, skill and attitudes to support staff to become fully rounded in their practice
  • Critical Reflective Practice also pays attention to emotional responses and the preparedness of staff to challenge their assumptions and the things they take for granted in everyday working life. This involves examining personal values and issues of power in the context of relationships
  • Critical areas of focus for Reflective Practice include:
    • How is the practice consistent with our beliefs, values and service philosophy?
    • Does our practice foster respect for and inclusion of young people?
    • How do we monitor and change our practice?
    • What theories inform our thinking?

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