This section explains reflective practice criterion 8 - knowledge and understanding.

8.1 Describe a rationale for your client work with reference to the theory or theories that inform all your practice.

8.2 Describe the place of your self-awareness within your way of working.

8.3 Describe how issues of difference and equality impact upon the therapeutic relationship.



Do I need to explain my theoretical approach for the assessor?

We have a good understanding of a broad range of theories and concepts but we need you to demonstrate your own understanding. You need to explain to us how you are using those theories rather than the theory itself.

How much detail do I need to go into when explaining my theoretical approach?

We want you to explain the main theories and concepts you use rather than just making a list of them. So if, for example, you say you're an integrative therapist, it wouldn't be sufficient to just list the three or four theories that you integrate. We don't expect you to go into great detail but we would like you to explain any acronyms or unusual abbreviations that you use in your way of working or place of work.

What form should the rationale for client work take? Is it a piece of academic writing?

Imagine you have a client ring you up in some distress. They say 'I've got this problem and I'd like to come for counselling but I've never had any counselling before. If I come to see you could you tell me how, you know, you work or could you tell me what to expect?' You'd probably be able to explain your way of working fairly easily and tell the client what you do in the counselling room. That's the sort of approach we're looking for.

My way of working is very varied and I use lots of different theories – how do I explain that?

You need to explain how you generally work with clients and what interventions you might make. If you’re using more than one theory, tell us how and why you move between those theories and what informs your choice of intervention.