Reflection is a wide-ranging term for a process that can take place informally over a coffee, or more formally in terms of a learning conversation or journal writing. It can be an internal process, or can take place with others in the workplace, or between friends and family.

This module explores the uses reflection, in both individual and collaborative practice and its benefits not just in the training years but beyond into established professional practice. It looks at how reflection can be used as a professional support mechanism and to build resilience against stress.

There are multiple purposes of reflection:

  • To develop or to consolidate practice.
  • To provide reassurance or criticality.
  • To improve performance or understanding.
  • To enhance the quality of patient care.
  • To provide understanding of and respite from the complex, demanding workplace.

By the end of this module you will have an enhanced understanding of the role of reflection in your professional life.

You will have considered the principles of effective reflection and seen some of the benefits of deliberate reflective practice.

You will have the opportunity to explore a simple system for reflection and to read about some of the uses it has had in the medical field.


The best way to develop your own reflective practice is to decide what use you will make of it, to consider a range of suggested approaches to reflection and to experiment with your own thoughts either individually or with trusted others.



Click the following links to be taken to the corresponding section of the module:

  1. Definitions
  2. Categorising Reflection and Reflective Practice
  3. Models of Reflection and Reflective Practice
  4. Orientations Towards Reflection
  5. Examples of Reflection
  6. The Role of Reflection in Developing Resilience
  7. Summary


Author: Clare Bentall

Date published: February 2021