Describe the principles of reflective practice and the usefulness of the concept for alcohol and other drug work.
In today’s modern age of instant information it would appear a necessity of every professional to possess the ability to continually develop their practice in line with advancements made in the field. Reflective practice is the “capacity to reflect on practice so as to engage in a process of continuous learning”.(Schon 1983, p. ) It is “an in-depth consideration of events or situations outside of one-self: solitarily, or with critical support.”(Bolton, 2005, p.9) Through reflective practice the professional is given the platform for continuous learning from every stage of professional development, from the novice to the expert. For the professional in the field of drug and alcohol work, reflective practice is a critically useful tool for both the individual professional, and the individual client.
Reflective practice is a true examination of ones knowledge as expressed in practice, it “encourages the seeking of understanding and interpretations of principles, justifications and meaning” (Bolton 2005, p.8). This involves looking at our use of all knowledge both implicit and explicit. “Implicit memory is revealed when previous experiences facilitate performance on a task that does not require conscious or intentional recollection of those experiences, explicit memory is revealed when performance on a task requires conscious recollection of previous experiences. (Schacter 1987) It is in examining the complexity of both implicit and explicit knowledge and memory that one begins to develop an understanding of the deeply personal nature of reflection. It leads professionals to developing greater self awareness and challenging the way they see themselves in relation to practice, broader social issues questioning their ethics and interpersonal relationships ((Maidment & Egan 2009) “The reflective thinker has to stand...