I have been involved in journal writing on and off since I was a teenager. In the early years there was the comfort of sharing my life with my silent friend, and exploring my creativity. When I travelled around the world, my journal was my record and the consolidation of all my experiences.
I trained as a homeopath and had a thriving practice for over 20 years seeing people of all nationalities and ages in my clinic in London. My journal became self-reflective as I realised I needed to contemplate and learn from my relationship with my patients. The joy of homeopathy is that it treats everyone as different; but recognising that difference could sometimes raise my own issues or prejudices, which I needed to deal with. I went to a supervisor on a regular basis as a form of maintenance for my clinical practice.
I took my own diploma in supervision in 2001 with Cascade, and got my qualifications to teach at adult level. I taught self-reflection and supervision skills in the UK, in Europe and in Japan and I was part of a team teaching the practitioner- patient relationship in the University of Westminster. Over the years I have coached many alternative practitioners, getting them to think about their work in clinic and to learn from their experiences. For 10 years I gave weekly feedback to Japanese students on their self-reflective journals in a distance-learning college. I’ve facilitated reflective groups and workshops, by myself and with my colleague, Caroline Schuck.
I have developed my own take on self-reflection. For me, it is more than just downloading our problems; it is about taking the responsibility to work with them. This means investigating our attitudes, thoughts, beliefs or emotions about an issue and making changes if necessary. It is not self-criticism which just leaves us feeling small. We should actively applaud our achievements as well, so that we reinforce effective behaviour and feel good about ourselves.
I have noticed how different ways of reflecting suit different people. Self-reflection was usually taught as a left-brained, logical process within a set framework but I felt it had a lot more to offer. As long as you reflect and learn from your experiences, it shouldn’t matter what method you use. I explored and developed creative reflection, which uses right-brained intuition, fun and creativity.
I retired from clinical practice in 2011 with the intention of writing more. I have since written four books about self-reflection in the context of the practitioner-patient relationship.
I have continued to work as a supervisor both face to face and over the internet. I am available for one to one practitioner supervision, group supervision sessions in North London and 4 or 8 week intensive training in the skills of self-reflection. (more)
In 2015, I was awarded a fellowship by the Society of Homeopaths for an outstanding contribution and service to homeopathy. I am deeply grateful to all my patients, students and supervisees who have taught me over the years.