Raised emotions: a critique of the Peshkin approach to reflection

Caroline Bradbury-Jones, Denise Coleman, Helen Davies, Kate Ellison, Colette Leigh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Aims and objectives We critique a new approach to reflection in nursing that uses thoughts and feelings as the focus of the reflective process. Background 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. Discussion 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. Conclusions 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
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)568-572
    Number of pages5
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number6
    Early online date29 Dec 2009
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


    • Nursing practice
    • Reflection
    • Peshkin
    • Emotions


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