Reflection Papers Instructions
The goal of reflective writing is to interact with and integrate new information and apply it to what you already know and practice, thereby achieving personal growth. You will write a total of four reflection papers in this course. Each paper has a specific topic, described below. All four papers have the same basic purpose, structure and format. Begin each paper with a specific reference or a quote from the week’s assigned readings. Use this reference to anchor your discussion and reflections. Discuss the assigned topic by comparing, contrasting, and synthesizing a variety of course materials by different authors. You may also include additional sources and Scriptures. Provide a personal response to the topic and course materials. Reflections may include new insights about yourself, your communication style, and your relationships; realizations about existing communication barriers, challenges, and opportunities in your personal and/or professional arena; communication strategies and skills that you discovered and applied; and observed outcomes emerging from changes you have made. Each paper must also include a biblical worldview/faith journey perspective as well as a brief discussion of how your behavioral blend (as described by Carbonell) influences your communication and actions on the given topic. In other words, each paper must maintain a good balance between 1) examination and discussion of relevant course materials on the topic and 2) self-reflection on how these phenomena play out in your own interpersonal communication contexts.
Each paper should be between 900 and 1000 words long (3 pages of text). The content should be engaging, substantive, and interesting. It should be written in a focused and concise manner and be well organized with a logic progression of ideas and transitions that are clear and maintain flow of thought. Submit as a Word document, formatted according to current APA style, free of grammar, spelling, and other writing errors. A title page is expected, but an abstract is not needed. Repeat the paper title on page 2 according to APA format, but do not use any subheadings. Use APA style for both in-text citations and the reference page, while making sure references correspond and are correct.
Reflection Paper 1
Petersen described and illustrated the importance of emotion regulation in interpersonal communication using humorous terms such as the Flat-Brain Theory of Emotions, the Flat-Brain Syndrome, and the Flat-Brain Tango (Chapters 3-7). Examine your emotion regulation skills, feelings-versus-thoughts differentiation, and communication habits. Reflect on your interpersonal communication behaviors in private and professional/public contexts.
Reflection Paper 2
Schultze and Badzinski provided Bible-based guidance for making sure the content of our communication is truthful, honest, transparent, authentic, self-disclosing, relationship-enhancing, faithful, and encouraging (Chapters 5-6). Petersen offered principles for making sure our talking processes are effective, constructive, and balanced (Chapters 10-13). Examine yourself and the messages you send in the role of talker in light of this material.
Reflection Paper 3
Petersen offered guidance for making sure our listening practices are respectful, non-judgmental, supportive, and constructive (Chapters 14-16). Schultze and Badzinski described the process of attentive listening (Chapter 1). The also provided Bible-based principles for resolving interpersonal conflicts and maintaining relational harmony (Chapter 7-8). Examine yourself as a listener and communication partner in light of this material.
Reflection Paper 4
France and Weikel discussed the importance of empathy, warmth, and genuineness in order to establish a therapeutic alliance with clients in the human services field (Chapter 3). Analyze and elaborate on each of these three concepts, drawing on additional course materials, including Petersen (Chapters 19-21). You may also find the principles and skills discussed in the Module 1 video and Module 6 presentation helpful. Reflect on your own therapeutic communication skills.