Reflective Journaling

In this lecture, you will learn from counsellor and trainer Emma Chapman how to develop your skills in reflective journaling as part of your self-awareness and personal development as a counsellor.

Reflective journaling is especially associated with counsellor training, but is also a valuable practice for qualified therapists.

Reflective Journaling - CPD lecture

On completion of this lecture, you will understand how to keep an effective reflective journal and why this is important for personal development in counsellor training. In particular, you will be able to:

  • describe what reflective journaling is
  • recognise the importance of reflective journaling for self-awareness and personal development
  • explore different techniques that will enable effective and useful reflective journaling
  • identify how you might use your journal to apply theory to self for your personal development assignments.

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Self-awareness is vital for counsellors, being a prerequisite to working safely and ethically with clients. Moreover, Carl Rogers identified in the person-centred approach to counselling that self-awareness is what enables us to reach self-acceptance and move towards self-actualisation.

While reflective journaling can be an invaluable tool in moving towards great self-awareness, many student and qualified counsellors find the idea of reflective journaling daunting.

Emma seeks to provide practical solutions to this, sharing with you her tried-and-tested ideas for how to get started, including:

  • format for reflective journals
  • where to write
  • when to write
  • how often to write
  • where to store your journal.

You will focus in depth on what you might choose to write about, with questions to help you get started on exploring your:

  • current state
  • difficult experiences
  • memories
  • beliefs and values
  • hopes, dreams and goals
  • fears and worries
  • previous journal entries.

If you are a student counsellor, you will understand how to use the insights gained from reflective journaling in your personal development assignments. And if you are a qualified counsellor, Emma will explain the benefits to both you and your clients of continuing with your reflective journaling.

To take your learning further, you will take away a list of five references and further reading on this important topic.

About the Lecture Presenter

Emma Chapman Counsellor CPD lecture

Emma Chapman is a counsellor and trainer working in private counselling practice in Cheshire.  In her Northwich office, she works with adults, young people and couples.

Emma believes that having good mental health is the key to having a fulfilled and happy life.  As a passionate advocate for mental health, Emma also delivers mental health training to a variety of audiences across the North West of England.

Emma is a qualified teacher who came to counselling later on in life after 15 years of working in the public sector and charity roles.  During this time she worked with vulnerable children, adults and families in teaching, family support, safeguarding and pastoral roles.

After so many years working with children and families who often struggled to manage day-to-day life, Emma began to observe that poor mental health and trauma played a huge part in keeping people stuck in damaging patterns of behaviour.

This conclusion led her to further training in mental health, and she started her counsellor training in 2014 at Mid-Cheshire College studying part-time.  In 2018 she completed an MA in Clinical Counselling at Chester University.

Emma has experience working in an NHS IAPT setting but decided to work privately in order to work with her clients more creatively.

After a short spell teaching counselling at a local college, Emma continued to put her teaching skills to use and further develop some training packages for fellow counsellors, educational settings and businesses.

As a mother of two children, Emma struggled with her own mental health after becoming a Mother. In 2019 she had her research into maternal mental health published in the journal of Crisis, Illness and Loss*.  She now specialises in working with mothers experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties in her private practice.

Following some time working at a charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide, it became clear to Emma that there was little therapeutic support for those experiencing suicidal ideation.

In her private practice, she also works with people who are experiencing Suicidal Thoughts and delivers suicide awareness training to counsellors and other organisations across the North West.

'An Exploration of the Ways in Which Feelings of “Maternal Ambivalence” Affect Some Women.'  Emma Chapman, Peter M. Gubi, 2019.

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Reflective Journaling lecture overview