Gillian Ruch & Amanda Lees
Reflective practice is a well-established, but not uncomplicated or uncontested, feature of 21st Century professional activity. Familiar to practitioners in social work, social care, teaching and health-related professions, reflective practice is widely recognised as ‘a good thing’. What it exactly looks and feels like for those practising it or on the receiving end of it, however, is less well understood. In recent years, the dominance of the socio-political landscape by New Public Management and technical-rational responses to the complex, multi-faceted, affective and emotional circumstances of people’s lives, has reinforced the need for reflective skills and practices. Due to the current socially disturbing circumstances – the war in Ukraine, the global pandemic and the climate crisis – that challenge us existentially, evoke powerful emotional responses and attack our capacity to think, the need for reflective practice is, perhaps, greater than ever.