We critique a new approach to reflection in nursing that uses thoughts and feelings as the focus of the reflective process.
We have developed the 'Peshkin Approach to Reflection'; so-called because it is influenced by the work of Peshkin and his focus on the 'subjective I'. Whereas most reflective models used in nursing take an incident as the starting point, this new approach focuses on subjective feelings and thoughts.
We offer an overview of the stages of the process: preparation; writing, analysis, and application to practice. Central to the paper is a critique of the approach with particular emphasis on the issues raised by focusing on emotions as part of the reflective process. We show that within the emotional labour of nursing, feelings may become repressed. Thus, we suggest that bringing emotions to the forefront of reflective practice in an appropriately supportive environment has significant benefits.
Emotions are inextricably bound with nursing practice. For that reason, we argue that much can be gained from raising emotions in a manner that helps nursing students - or indeed nurses and other practitioners - gain a deeper self-understanding. In turn, this can enhance therapeutic use of self.
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