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Introspection, reflection, qualia, & consciousness: Making sense of an 80-hour psychotherapy internship

Naren D. Selvaratnam


The following is an introspective report that elaborates on lessons I learned as a trainee psychotherapist during an 80-hour internship at one of Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals. I have carefully analyzed thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with three patient cases, and interpreted key learnings via Gibbs reflective cycle. The lessons learned portray a self-realization of a variety of my strengths and weaknesses akin to the practice of psychotherapy. Based on the nature of the content learned, I have identified some of the key areas of professional development that undergird career success. Similarly, making sense of my internal state during these 80 hours through reflective practice displays the mastery of a critical skill for improved training outcomes. This report further highlights the need for more subjective introspective reports from contemporary professionals to establish discourse on consciousness to promote the consideration of subjective accounts of professionals as foundational evidence for more intuitive, logical, and rigorous endeavors of scientific inquiry.


Keywords: Gibbs reflective cycle, psychotherapy, professional development, introspection, consciousness, qualia


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