I bought this book before starting on my level 3 CPCAB counselling course, as my course expected my learning journal to start being more reflective and 'dig a bit deeper' into my emotions and feelings. I found this book very useful and helpful and refer to it quite often now that I am on a diploma course. I'd recommend this to counselling students at any level of their training. The best book on reflective writing I have found to date.
Reflective Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy by Jeannie Wright and Gillie Bolton
This well organised book engages the reader from the Preface to the final page. Using three fictitious counselling course students as examples, each chapter introduces the reader to a stage of their personal development journeys as they go through their training. There are also real examples of therapeutic writing taken from work with students and clients to underpin the fictitious examples. This, itself, would make a useful text book but the authors go further and each chapter also suggests writing tasks for the reader to complete at the same time if they choose.
As the book progresses, the reader who is using the book for personal development writing is taken further and deeper along that journey with the authors' compassionate writing suggestions and plenty of examples to encourage and support them. The instructions are clear and simple, encouraging the reader to try some personal reflective writing with suggestions for post writing self care, should the writing task produce unexpected challenges. Those who prefer not to do the personal writing tasks will gain a vivid picture of how such a personal journey might be made with plenty of examples both fictitious and real to demonstrate the different stages.
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 MA, MBACP Sen Accredited Counsellor Director, Online Training for Counsellors Ltd. websites: [...] [...] email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Author: "Online Counselling: A Handbook for Practitioners" Jones, G, Stokes, A. (2009) pub. Palgrave Macmillan
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.
A couple of the ideas stand out for me. One is to ask someone simply to write for six minutes on whatever is in their mind. There is something about specifying six minutes that seems to free people up to write - it's longer than five minutes but not daunting. You can also give a more specific focus on what you'd like them to write about. I've used it to invite students to reflect on an exercise they've just done, or to ask a client to capture their thoughts and feelings about a matter that's arisen within a coaching conversation.
The second idea I'd highlight is the use of a journal that is written in over an extended period of time. The authors say that, "Journal writing has the power to help people understand themselves, each other, their relationships with each other and their world better. It draws on the imagination and deep memory as well as logical cognitive thought." These are all aspects that might be very relevant to coaching clients.
Wright and Bolton also explore practical matters such as materials, confidentiality and overcoming writer's block. One of the most encouraging things they do throughout the book is simply to invite the reader to try out practical and focused writing exercises. They also continually emphasise the importance of writing for oneself - no one else need see what you write. And they urge the reader to dismiss interferences such as worries about spelling or grammar or unhelpful memories of a schoolteacher's red pen.
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.
Reflective writing can play an important part in a coach's continuing professional development, and can usefully complement supervision arrangements. The authors consider how reflective writing can be used before, during or after supervision sessions. It can enable practitioners, in their words, "to be themselves, in private on the page, and then to choose what to share in supervision."
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.
I have just embarked on a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy course & this is proving to be a very useful book to help with my journal writing. Having very little experience in writing journals I have found this book to be clear, concise & has some great exercises to get you started & thinking about how to structure your own journal.
Would recommend to anyone wanting to get into Journal writing
I have just this last year recently embarked on a counselling course , reflective writing being a part of the course. This unlike other books I have read is clear and user friendly and really gets to the heart of the subject in a nice gentle understandable way and gives you exercises to do. Yeh all round great book.
The co authors, an amazing real life of the university associate professor and best selling author 'Reflective Practice' about their self discovery and reflection. The writing styles are open and honest made this book most enjoyable reading..