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Keeping a Reflective Journal

The following article introduces you to the idea of keeping a reflective journal throughout the course.
Your reflective journal

In order to get the most out of your learning experiences during the course we recommend keeping a reflective journal or notebook. A reflective journal can help to make sense of new experiences and ideas and allows you to keep a record of your reflections in one place. Your journal can include:

  • Ideas in the course that you’ve found difficult, surprising, reassuring, confusing, etc (and why)
  • Information you think is especially important (and why)
  • Points or questions you want to follow up on (and how you might do this)
  • Your thoughts and feelings as you engage with the different learning activities
  • Reflections to share with your peers

Free Writing and Reflection

If you have time, try some free writing at the end of each week as this can help to access raw thoughts and feelings and makes it possible to process these and take note of what is important in the moment. Here’s how to do it:

Take 2 to 10 minutes to sit in silence (use a timer if you can) with a pen and paper and write continuously without taking your pen off of the paper. If you can’t think what to write, then write just that – “I can’t think what to write”, as this will help to keep you focused on the task. There is no need to think about sentence structure, grammar or spelling just write whatever comes to mind.

A guiding question for this free writing is:

“What resonated with me from the session today?”

Once you have finished, share some of your reflections with your peers in the comments.

© Tavistock & Portman NHS FT
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