Reflexive Practise

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Reflexive Practise

Post by russ » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:52 pm

What is reflexive practise?
Reflexivity is almost meta-reflection, i.e. reflecting on the consequences of reflection, which may include action (in terms of a change in our therapeutic process, for example) or inaction.

Reflection can be defined as 'thinking about' something after the event. Reflexivity, in contrast, involves a more immediate, dynamic and continuing self-awareness. Initially that these things start off differentiated and clumsy, but become practised and integrated, and an automatic part of your way of thinking about your work.

The definition of "reflexive" makes reference to 'dynamic' process which, to my mind, refers to the extra in reflexivity about considering the impact of one's reflections on the self and other. At the risk of confusing people more, it's perhaps like the difference between transference and countertransference, where countertransference is how the person's transference makes you react - i.e. your own transferential reaction to the person's transference. If you want a more precise definition typing in 'reflection and reflexivity' into google scholar comes up with loads for the eager reader!

Jojo added:When I did some research recently there was a huge focus on reflexivity in this area as it is obviously an important aspect of qualitative research. I had to think about how, as an interviewer, my reflections and interactions with the interviewees impacted on how they communicated and interacted with me - and thus how this affected the content/style of discourse, etc etc.

I thought that it might be helpful putting it into context. I believe the books I used to carry me through that ordeal was the Bannister book on qualitative psychology and V.Burr's book on social constructionism. Both very good books.


Schon D. (1987) Educating the Reflexive Practitioner. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Bleakley A. (1999) From Reflective Practice to Holistic Reflexivity, Studies in Higher Education, 24(3), 315-330.

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