The act of self-reflection is a ‘spiritual act’ by taking time out to connect the inner-self with the outer world.  A view, Olsen suggests, that parallels Florence Nightingale’s thoughts that providing nursing care to others can be a spiritual act.  More importantly, he highlights how reflection is essential to avoid burnout by helping nurses to stay connected with their passion for their profession. Yet, the reality for many nurses and midwives is that their working day is full of emotional extremes coupled with physical exhaustion. As Knight (2015) points out, working in highly pressurised clinical environments isn’t naturally conducive to the idea of pausing, engaging with feelings or staying with uncertainty.

Without some structured support, the focus on self-reflection can be viewed with suspicion and cynicism.