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Profectum's DIR® Certificate Courses -- Starting January 2024


Growing Compassion Through Reflective Practice

Growing Compassion Through Reflective Practice

Serena Wieder

  • Jun 14
  • Behavior

Growing Compassion Through Reflective Practice


by Marilee Burgeson, M.A. CCC/SLP, Assistant Faculty, Profectum Academy

The greatest gift we can give each other as professionals is the benefit of our experience, honest and responsive feedback as we collaborate to build individually tailored intervention to support the parents and children we serve.  This is why Profectum infuses Reflective Practice into the DIR® training model.  This model of mentoring mobilizes a powerful dynamic relationship between supervisor and staff member that goes far beyond directional guidance.

Reflective Practice is all about creating a safe space in which we as professionals can explore our own feelings, meanings and experiences from the increasingly complex dynamic of building the parent/child relationship in our work.  The foundational underpinning of Reflective Practice is a strong and supportive relationship between a more seasoned professional and an interventionist that is:


  • Responsive: exquisite attunement to the supervisee and their nonverbal affective and gestural signals.
  • Reliable: consistently present holding regular meeting time as a priority.
  • Respectful: seeking to understand one another at a deeper level through openness, actively listening and sensitivity.

These shared experiences over time create a powerful dynamic that evolves over time as emotions, challenges and vulnerabilities are revealed.  Our social and emotional capacities deepen as we develop what Dr. Dan Siegal calls “Mindsight”.  Dr. Siegal defines Mindsight as” fully present awareness of the internal mind.” The supervisory relationship moves through time toward deeper understanding and connection.  This intentional exploration of relational experiences within the context of intervention bolsters the capacity of both participants to see and be seen in this process.  In the safety of this trusting space an integrated flow of energy is created and provides a shared calmness and an attitude of receptivity that moves us toward increased self awareness. As we grow in our reflective capacity, we can then step back and consider our work through the lens of empathy and compassion.

When we release our own internal struggles through reflective exploration, we can more fully tune into the relationship in front of us…the parent and child.  The reflective relationship in fact provides a parallel of the relationship we would like to create with the parent.  This in turn models what we envision the parent child relationship to be.  It is a ripple effect.  My supervisor is to me what I want to be to the parent, who will bring responsiveness, reliability and respect to the child.  With sustained reflective practice, our capacity to listen compassionately grows.  We begin to feel the strength of this kind of connection as we are able to slow down and think about our work.  This moment of grace referred to by Dr. Siegal creates a space to open our hearts and minds to a connection that strengthens us and empowers parents. It is this collaborative process that helps us grow in connection, compassion and peace.

At Profectum Academy all training programs use reflective practice and faculty offer ongoing reflective tutoring at all times. Contact us for further information.

References:  Siegal,D.(2010).Reflection.Garrison Newsletter, (Autumn).Retrieved September, 2015 from

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