New article alert! Have you seen our new publication in The British Journal of Social Work? Our Lab Co-Director Katherine Occhiuto, Research Associate Sarah Tarshis, Director Sarah Todd, and Lab Manager and Research Coordinator Ruxi Gheorghe recently published an article! The article is titled Reflecting on Reflection in Clinical Social Work: Unsettling a Key Social Work Strategy and is available open access!

Although reflection has become a core concept in social work education, this article explores some of the limitations of reflective practice. This simulation-based study recruited 34 participants across Canada to engage in two clinical simulations, each followed by an interview which included observing segments of their video-recorded simulations. While conducting the post-simulation interviews, our team kept noting significant divergences between what participants said they did in session, and what we observed. These divergences of participants’ reflections on their clinical practice versus their actual behaviour became the foundation of this article.

Ultimately, this article suggests that reflection can often be misaligned, grounded in distorted memory or bias and tied to wishful—yet sometimes inaccurate—perceptions of self. This research underscores the need to understand reflection as a situated and ongoing practice that is based on fluid notions of multiple selves. Although much reflective practice is currently framed as an independent exercise, results show the productive potential of collective reflection on recordings of simulations to challenge memory distortions and retrospective biases and promote greater accountability to ourselves, others and clients.

The article is accessible and available online here, or you can access a PDF version of the article by clicking the following link: 2024 – Occhiuto et al – Reflecting on Reflection