At Fortis we have always facilitated Reflective Practice and Clinical Supervision across different sectors and for a range of professionals. Reflection is an important aspect of therapy too. Over recent months, we have been providing Reflective Practice more and more for groups and individuals due to professionals needing to access support following the past 12-18 months, which have seen us all cope with immeasurable changes, challenges, and losses.
Rather uniquely, these will be different for every single person on the planet. No two of us will have experienced this pandemic in the same way, which is why reflection, and understanding why we need to do it, is so vital as we try to navigate this once in a lifetime (finger’s crossed) exit back to a world a little more ‘normal’.
Since the world was turned upside down, you may have experienced any number of things. You may have had to cancel social plans, family gatherings, milestone birthdays, weddings. You may have had to move holidays, struggle with being at home, isolated, a change in routine. Put huge life goals on hold – buying a house, having a baby, relocating or any combination of the above.
Then there is the matter of people. Or a lack of having them in our lives. You may have lost family or friends and not been able to say a proper goodbye. So many of us have lost. Be that moments and memories, or physical, loved, and cherished people. It’s hard to know how to feel about it all – grieving hasn’t even been the same process.
It is most definitely a time for reflection. Reflection is key, it allows us to not only acknowledge what we’ve been through but honour it too.
“Reflecting helps you to develop your skills and review their effectiveness, rather than just carry-on doing things as you have always done them,” says Fortis Therapy & Training managing director Alexis Powell-Howard.
“It is about questioning, in a positive way, what you do and why you do it and then deciding whether there is a better, or more efficient, way of doing it in the future. Ideally, we need to look toward having the capacity to be aware of, control, and express our emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
Reflective practice, so what is it – essentially, it’s taking a look at things from a different perspective. A helicopter view if you will. Which is why talking things through with a therapist can really help – taking that helicopter view is one of the many things our experienced therapists are experts in.
There are numerous things to reflect on, two that we often look at are boundaries and values. As we look towards moving back into a world with no pandemic-imposed boundaries, so many people will be asking what’s ok and what’s not, ok? Ask yourself to following questions:
- How are your personal boundaries?
- How ‘straight forward’ are you with your boundaries?
- When do you allow your boundaries to be pushed?
- How do you feel about saying no?
- What impact do others have on you?
Small pockets of stillness help us uncover who we are whether they are at work or during a day at home. We are social beings who want to adapt to the people around us. That said, we can often be inundated with information which makes it difficult for us to separate out who we really are from simply absorbing preferences, values, or personality traits we believe we ought to have.
Carving out those times of stillness are vital in order to allow ourselves tat time to figure ourselves out. Ask ourselves the questions outlined above. When it comes to processing the resulting thoughts, immerse yourself in an activity you love such as cooing, painting, gardening, reading, or walking. You can even do tit at work while brainstorming or researching for example.
For many, that immersive activity is journaling. It’s a fantastic way to reflect, to hash out your deepest concerns and thoughts, in whatever way works for you.
- Mind maps/brainstorms
As you progress with reflective practice, making it a daily practice can result in some incredible achievements, such as:
- To develop confidence and self-knowledge/self-esteem
- Explore personal and professional boundaries
- Create time for purposeful reflection
- New ways of working/thinking/practising
- Explore vulnerability and personal resonance
- To track wellbeing
- Being curious
- Time to reset
- Change your negative beliefs