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Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy

Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy

  • Poornima Bhola - Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, India
  • Chetna Duggal - Associate Professor, School of Human Ecology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
  • Rathna Isaac - Private Practitioner, Consultant and Supervisor at Parivarthan Counselling, Training and Research Centre, Bengaluru, India

February 2022 | 368 pages | SAGE India
Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy presents reflection as a tool to further self-exploration and aid professional development for psychotherapists and counsellors. It discusses the potential avenues, methods and spaces for self-reflective work.

The book extensively cites both global and Indian research and presents therapist voices and perspectives, accompanied with self-reflective exercises and experiential activities. It highlights how the intersectional lens and diversity perspective can be integrated in reflective practice, especially for practitioners in India. The objective is to help the reader use reflection to critically examine, personalize and ‘own’ ideas that can nurture personal and professional growth. The book is indispensable for therapists at all levels of development and an important read for academicians, practitioners, trainers and supervisors from the disciplines of clinical and counselling psychology, social work and psychiatry.

Reflective Practice for Professional Development
Tracing Your Motivations to Become a Therapist
The Personal and the Relational Self of the Therapist
Adopting a Theoretical Lens
Connecting with Clients and Building a Therapeutic Alliance
Understanding Personal and Professional Values
Engaging with Diversity in the Therapy Room
Learning from Clients
Supervision and Reflective Practice
Being in Personal Therapy
Investing in Self-care and Growth
The Reflective Path: Integrating Reflection into Training, Practice and Research

This book could not have come at a better time. In the current ethos of a search for instant solutions, there is the peril that therapists are becoming ‘technique’ oriented. Therapy involves a dynamic interplay of the emotions, thoughts and behaviours of clients and therapists – however the focus is often on clients’ reactions alone.  This book is an attempt to redress the balance by urging practitioners to pause in contemplation of themselves and their work. Therapists at varying levels of competence and experience will gain new insights or find something that resonates with their experiences. Lucidly written, the chapters gently flow and persuade readers to embark on their own ‘reflective’ journeys.

Ahalya Raguram
Professor and Former Head, Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, India

This book draws on a wealth of literature, personal experience, and thoughtful consideration, to explore aspects of psychotherapy training and practice. It is a gem of a book that explores equally the strengths, the challenges and the paradoxes of therapy. Most mental health practitioners, not just therapists, would benefit from it, and it should be recommended reading for all of them.

Alok Sarin
Consultant Psychiatrist, Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi, India

Reflective Practice and Professional Development in Psychotherapy offers psychotherapists and counselors of all conceptual approaches, practical aid in the journey to "know themselves." With warmth and wisdom, the authors of this lucid, accessible and comprehensive, clinically rich and deeply scholarly book, provide useful guidance and supportive companionship for therapists at all career stages. A rare international perspective and cultural breadth make this book a unique contribution. Sure to be often consulted, it deserves a conveniently reachable place on every therapist's bookshelf.

David Orlinsky
Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago, U.S.A.

This is the most thoughtful and erudite book yet written on reflective practice for psychotherapists. An absolute gem. That it has emerged from India, where the Buddha gave his teachings on self-reflection to the world, may be no accident. Somehow the authors have created a highly practical and accessible book, full of engaging therapist vignettes, while providing the reader with a sumptuous list of references. The wide coverage ranges from personal motivation and values to the relational self and the alliance; from supervision and self-care to how we can best engage with diversity and structural inequalities. This book definitely deserves a wide international audience.

James Bennett-Levy
Professor in Mental Health and Psychological Wellbeing, University of Sydney, Australia

What makes this book a `must-read’ is the introduction of ideas of diversity, intersectionality, marginalization and oppression, and the focus on the role of supervision in providing the scaffolding required for reflective practice. It will serve as a text for trainee counselors as well as a ‘go to' book for experienced psychotherapists seeking to deepen their practice skills.

Surinder Jaswal
Professor and Deputy Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India

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