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An exploration of reflective practice in the helping professions

By Emma Katharine Wildig


To date there has been little exploratory research about the experience of trainee clinical psychologists. What is not known from the literature is how trainee clinical psychologists perceive reflective practice within clinical training and how the process of being a ‘novice’ alongside the increased introspection of reflective practice feels in terms of self-concept.\ud \ud The first chapter of the thesis reviews the relevant literature investigating the use of reflective practice within mental health settings. The review indicates that although reflective practice might offer some valuable contributions to working in these settings there are often difficulties with ongoing implementation. A number of methodological limitations of the studies are discussed and the implications of reflective practice for professional practice are considered.\ud \ud Chapter two presents an empirical study that explores trainee clinical psychologists’ experiences of reflective practice within the setting of clinical training, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. A preliminary model of reflective activity within clinical psychology training is proposed, indicating that self-reflection lies at the heart of reflective practice. Implications for clinical training, psychologist self-care and future research are discussed

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