Models for reflective writing

I like to adapt different ideas that I come across for my reflective practice writing.

For example: (i) writing in the third person about one of my writing groups – pretending I am an objective observer or even a coffee cup in the room (adapted from Gillie Bolton); (ii) adapting John’s model of reflective practice (link to model below) to reflective writing; and (iii) questions from Learning to Fly, a book by Geoff Parcell (see below for a link to the book on Amazon, and also an extract of my writing).

Link to Gillie’s book:

Link to John’s model:

Link to Learning to Fly book on Amazon:

Extract of reflective writing based on questions from Learning to Fly:
[Note: I started by writing an account of the session and then went on to write in response to the questions I borrowed from the book]

“What was supposed to happen?”
There was supposed to be a group of 2-3 patients plus me. I was to bring 2 writing stimulus exercises, with a 3rd exercise for backup. The session was to follow this programme: welcome, introductions, reassurances; one short then one longer writing exercise – with reading aloud and discussion after each piece of writing; completion of forms – session evaluation form by each participant, observation form for patient notes completed by me and agreed with the participants. Then I was supposed to access the patient notes in the Resources Room to file the obeservational feedback forms.

“What actually happened?”
Everything went to plan except that only 1 patient attended the group and the patient’s notes were not available in the Resources Room after the session. Also we completed a new form together – a Volitional Questionnaire – which was suggested to me by an Occuaptional Therapist (link to a Wikipedia article on Volition:

“Were there any deviations from the plan?”
Yes – the patient was someone who has been to my sessions a number of times and someone I know well, who is now confident in the sessions and quite experienced at writing. The session therefore involved minimal explanation and of course no need for introductions. The session was informal and relaxed and (unusually) ended with coffee and a chat. There were discussions of topics of a broader nature than usual, e.g., what had been going on in the patient’s life since we last met, of a book that she had started to read, and of the concept of ‘Flow’. Also I adapted the 2nd writing exercise to give more challenge and also to focus more on the individual patient – which I can’t do in a group setting.

The other questions adapted from the book that I used in the reflective piece I wrote were: “What went well?” “How can I make sure future sessions go as well or better?” and “What could have gone better?”.

I finished the piece by answering the last two questions with several other sessions in mind which allowed me to identify some problems/areas for improvement, e.g., I realised that 1:1 sessions have always gone well but that sessions don’t always go so well for every individual in a group; and then I came up with a list of possibe ways to improve.

I only do this sort of detailed reflective writing now and then as it takes a long time. When I do it though, I use different methods or models, so that each time I get the opportunity to look at my practice with fresh eyes.

I hope you will find these ideas useful,



About Carol Ross

Interested in therapeutic writing.
This entry was posted in reflective practice, Writing Ideas and Prompts and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Models for reflective writing

  1. Kate Thompson says:

    These are excellent ways of using your journal for self-supervision.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s