Reflective Consultation

Reflective Consultation (or Reflective Supervision as it is sometimes called) is a process that encourages exploration of one’s own thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors, promoting reflection on how personal experiences influence the manner in which we interact with young children and their families.  Reflective Consultation emphasizes the role of relationships including the relationship between supervisor and practitioner; practitioner and parent; and parent and child.

According to the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, the primary objectives of Reflective Consultation include the following:

  • Form a trusting relationship between supervisor and practitioner
  • Establish consistent and predictable meetings and times
  • Ask questions that encourage details about the infant, parent and emerging relationship
  • Remain emotionally present
  • Teach/guide
  • Nurture/support
  • Apply the integration of emotion and reason
  • Foster the reflective process to be internalized by the supervisee
  • Explore the parallel process and to allow time for personal reflection
  • Attend to how reactions to the content affect the process

To learn more about Iowa’s efforts to promote Reflective Consultation, email Rhonda Rairden-Nelson at