Reflective practice and emotional resilience

Competency 4: Reflective Practice and Emotional Resilience


In speech and language therapy, reflective practice is required for the development of direct and indirect practice. Emotional resilience is the ability to adapt to stressful situations in both personal and professional contexts. Working in new contexts and experiencing new cultures requires a developed sense of emotional resilience – consider that reflecting on practice includes reflecting on your skill set and your ability to adapt to new environments before going abroad.  Be aware that emotional resilience as a concept may be differently interpreted in different cultural contexts. There may be different cultural expectations in relation to work-life balance, working without remuneration and other concepts taken for granted in high income countries. It can be difficult to maintain appropriate boundaries with children and vulnerable adults in a new context, and it is important to consider carefully the attachments you build. Reflective practice is a key pillar within the UK and the USA but in countries where professions are at a different stage of development, the imposing of reflective practice can be interpreted in unexpected ways. The rich cultural diversity of different countries makes the practice of reflection multi-faceted and not one-dimensional.




Aware Proficient Advisor
Understands the role of reflective practice in speech and language therapy



Aware of how reflective practice will be of benefit in the LMIC setting and across ‘types’ of therapeutic input (direct and indirect therapy)


Has an understanding of emotional resilience and knows avenues of supervision (see competency 1). Aware of the need to maintain work/life balance, especially when not surrounded by familiar sources of support and relaxation



Will seek support when required. Starting to act as a “buddy” to support others

Implements and evidences own reflective practice in the LMIC setting




Able to draw on existing networks and knowledge to advocate for the need for reflective practice and emotional resilience to local stakeholders


Evaluates own emotional resilience and the emotional resilience of others and adapts practice accordingly. Maintains healthy work/life balance and encourages others to do the same







Is able to provide clinical and personal supervision support to others

Works with local partners to set up a reflective practice ethos and set up procedures to implement this (if it is not already established)


Develops policies, procedures and guidance on reflective practice





Models a high level of emotional resilience and reflective practice, including a commitment to a healthy work/life balance










Offers supervision to colleagues; remotely and those nearby



Key knowledge and skills


  • Knowledge of models of reflective practice
  • Skills in independent reflection on practice
  • Knowledge of supervision models and processes