Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Clinical Psychology, PhD



Faculty Advisor

Matthew Jerram


Reflective practice (RP) is an essential element of all professional work, including psychotherapy. However, RP can also cause feelings of anxiety and discomfort that may be barriers to engaging in RP. This research aimed to 1) describe the relationship between between RP and experiential avoidance in a sample of independent licensed and experiential psychotherapists, 2) explore among psychotherapists the previous finding among physicians that greater years of practice (YOP) and age predict lower levels of RP (Mamede & Schmidt, 2005), and 3) describe reported barriers to and supports of engaging in RP. An online survey was used to collect data and 54 participants were included in analyses. The sample was divided into low and high RP groups using a median split and group differences were analyzed. Results indicated a significant difference in the Repression and Denial subscale of the Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire between groups. When only institution-based participants were examined, the Distress Aversion (MEAQDA) mean score was also significantly different. In this sample, RP was positively and significantly correlated with both age and years of practice. Participants identified a range of barriers to engaging in RP as well as variables that support RP. These results suggest directions for future research and practice recommendations that could increase engagement in RP.

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Psychology Commons