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Reflective Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Have you been asked to keep a personal development portfolio or reflective journal? Are you struggling to know where to start, how to write or what to include? If the answer is 'yes', this book will provide you with a straightforward route in, telling you all you need to know about writing reflectively for your own personal and professional development. Offering staged exercises, case-studies, examples and ideas for self-directed learning, this book will lead the reader along an exciting journey of written self-awareness, covering: - the background - what exactly is reflective writing and why is it important - the decisions - when and how to start - the practicalities - the essentials of writing reflectively - the stumbling blocks - dealing with obstacles and difficulties - the long haul - maintaining reflective enquiry as a lifelong habit This book is an essential how-to guide appropriate for all undergraduate and postgraduate trainees, whether they are approaching the topic from a psychodynamic, person-centred or CBT perspective. It will give trainees all the tools they need to become mature reflective practitioners. Jeannie Wright Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy Programmes at Warwick University. Gillie Bolton is a Freelance consultant in therapeutic & reflective practice writing and author of the bestselling Reflective Writing, 3rd Edition, SAGE 2010.
Product Details

Table of Contents

PART ONE: MAPSPreparing for the JourneyWhy Take the Journey?Preparing for the AdventureStarting out: How to Write ReflectivelyWriting to Identify PrejudicePART TWO: NAVIGATIONWith Company or Travelling Alone?Writing the PastHere and Now: Writing the PresentLooking back to Look forward: Writing the FuturePART THREE: SIGNPOSTSGetting Stuck: How to Deal with Blocks, Obstacles and General DifficultiesSupervision, Reflexive and Reflective WritingAssessmentArrivals and Continuing the Journey

About the Author

Dr Gillie Bolton is an international authority on writing and author of a long publication list including nine books (one in 4th Edition), academic papers (many in top ranking journals), as well as professional articles, poetry, and for a lay readership. She has peer-reviewed for many journals and has been a long serving editor of an academic and two professional journals.


'This book, just as previously published titles by Gillie Bolton, offers a wealth of creative and intensive writing ideas for experts in therapy, coaching and counseling. The instructions are clear and simple to understand, with presentations of successful treatments. In addition, this book shows the ways that therapists and counselors can expand in their field, by looking into digital media collaborations. E-therapy, online coaching and counseling offer positive results and are forward thinking. A fascinating subject, which demands lots of attention in Germany!' - Susanne Rolf-Dietrich, SocialNet, Germany 'An engaging, accessible and practical book that takes the mystery out of reflective writing. It deserves to become a constant companion to the student and practitioner of counselling and psychotherapy. It is an exploration of how reflective writing can be built into psychodynamic, humanistic and CBT practice and training. The joy of the book is that it takes the reader on a journey into self, while also providing insights into and bringing alive research and theory by the use of personal testimony, references to literature and poetry and through the voices of three fictional characters, whose training it follows. I would warmly commend [this book] both to students and practioners' - Therapy Today 'This well organised book engages the reader from the Preface to the final page...Both authors have called on their experience of writing therapy, producing a book that is both text book and work book. If you're looking for some personal development, this book will give you compelling suggestions, examples and tasks. If you want to find out how writing therapy might be used in practice, this book explains. If you already use writing therapy tasks with your clients, this book will provide you with numerous ideas. "Reflective Writing in Counselling Psychotherapy" is both informative and challenging, bringing the reader face to face with emotions that are expressed in words' - Gill Jones, Accredited Counsellor 'Jeannie Wright and Gillie Bolton have written a practical guide on how write reflectively for personal and professional development. The book contains abundant suggestions on how and what to write in order to reflect upon and make sense of your experience. Although the book is aimed in the first instance at students and practitioners in counselling and therapeutic contexts, the ideas are just as relevant for people in the coaching world. I have used several of the exercises very effectively with coaching clients and with participants on coaching skills programmes. The book's practical discussion of e-therapy, on-line counselling and the use of technology such as email and Skype will be of interest to coaches seeking to practise in ways which support or replace face to face encounters. If you are looking for ideas on how to work with clients or students - or if you simply want to reflect upon your own practice - then you'll find stimulating ideas in this excellent book' - Bob Thomson, Learning and Development Centre, University of Warwick 'This book offers a gentle and creative invitation to the use of reflective writing in counselling and psychotherapy. In supplying a clear account of different approaches to reflective writing, and a large number of stimulating writing tasks, this book makes a timely, welcome and necessary contribution to this area of therapeutic training and practice.'John McLeod, Professor of CounsellingUniversity of Abertay Dundee 'In this book Wright and Bolton make a compelling case for the benefits and role of reflective writing in the therapist's tool kit of self-development and awareness. Written in an engaging and practical style, and underpinned by a clear theoretical framework, this book makes a significant contribution to the existing literature. I think it is highly likely to succeed in encouraging readers to give serious consideration to the benefits of reflective writing and journal keeping in their own personal development, irrespective of personal learning style. It will certainly be a welcome companion and guide for therapists who are engaged in reflective writing as a training or professional requirement. Ultimately, this valuable book reminds us that there are many means available to enhance therapist personal development and the capacity to mentalise our experience, and that we are likely to achieve a richer picture and experience of ourselves if we engage with multiple processes and methods of reflexive activity. It will certainly become recommended reading for counselling psychology trainees on my programme!' Dr Mark Donati, Course Leader and Principal Lecturer, Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, London Metropolitan University 'This is an engaging, comprehensive and practical book about writing for self-discovery and reflection. Gillie and Jeannie are both experts within the field, and their inspirational and reader friendly book will be an invaluable contribution at all levels of therapist training' - Sofie Bager-Charleson, Module Leader, Lecturer and Academic Supervisor, Metanoia Institute, London 'This is a ground breaking and innovative book in which Jeannie Wright and Gill Bolton provide an elegantly constructed and engaging exploration of the many and varied ways that reflective writing can support trainees in counselling and psychotherapy in their personal and professional development. They provide a host of exciting and creative suggestions for utilising reflective writing in support of healing and growth, brought to life by examples students will relate to immediately. In these respects the book will also be a source of inspiration for those practising in the field; in fact, anyone who wishes to find new and powerful ways of furthering their journey of self-exploration' - Phil Goss, Jungian Analyst and Senior Lecturer Counselling & Psychological Therapies, University of Central Lancashire

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