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Submission Preparation Checklist

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with all of the following items, and submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.
  • The submission has not been previously published, nor is it before another journal for consideration (or an explanation has been provided in Comments to the Editor).
  • Where available, URLs for the references have been provided.
  • The text adheres to the stylistic and bibliographic requirements outlined in the Author Guidelines, which is found in About the Journal.
  • If submitting to a peer-reviewed section of the journal, the instructions in Ensuring a Blind Review have been followed.

Author Guidelines

Guidelines for Authors (Revised 6/18)

To submit a narrative, you have to Register.  After you register, log in and click ROLES at top and give yourself two roles, Reader and Author, so the submission link will show the next time to you log on.  If there is more than one author, all authors must register eventually, but not for the submission to go through.  For full instructions including screenshots, see: https://tinyurl.com/ReflectionsAuthorInstructions

The purpose of Reflections is to publish narratives, personal accounts that describe and explain the process of helping others and shaping social change over time. The journal seeks to build a literary tradition for critical study. It encourages stories that convey a sense of immediacy, portray practice across diverse populations and capture the range and variety of strategies and systems within the helping professions. The journal publishes stories of professional helpers such as ethicists, psychotherapists, community organizers, case and group workers, policy makers, family and child practitioners, health and mental healthcare providers; educators, researchers, and administrators in the helping professions. Historical and contemporary narratives are encouraged.

Narratives should give readers a fresh perspective about the practice of change. Narratives explain and describe events, results, conflicts, complicating actions, and how, why, and what was done. In narratives, the writer evaluates the experience, whether or not there is a resolution, and explores the meaning of the experience. Some narratives end with a coda; a perspective on what occurred.

Writing Instructions and Submission: Note: The above and below following editorial policies are subject to review by the Executive Committee of Publishing Partners.  Manuscripts are double-blind peer-reviewed.  Articles appropriate to the journal’s purpose are reviewed anonymously by members of the Narrative Review Board. Publication decisions require 3 to 4 months. Please be patient. All articles are copyedited before publication.  Articles published in Reflections are published as PDF files that are searchable, but our hosting provider has prevented the ability of the PDFs to be indexed on Google or other well-behaved search engines.  On the author name, title of article, abstract and keyword are searchable.  The same policy is followed for our material on EBSCO and Proquest, by special arrangment, unless the user is logged into their system.  This is because it was felt that the nature of the narratives is such that their content should not be searchable on the web.  

Please see the Online Journal Site for further information prior to electronic submission.  However, for preliminary guidelines:

1. Authors are expected to use APA format, version 6, with one spaces after every sentence, but with no headers or footers or page numbers.  However, see #5 below for special formatting instructions, some of which also might not be strictly speaking APA style.

2. The manuscript length depends upon the temporal sequence of the event.

3. Make sure you include all information such as name, affiliation(s), address, and phone/fax numbers in your profile.  Do not include any of this identifying information in your submission.

4. Submit one electronic copy of a document formatted as follows:

a. Times New Roman 13 point font

b. Single spaced

c. Flush left

d. Non-justified

e. Full blank line between paragraphs and above and below sub-headings

f. Headings are bold-faced and centered on the page with a full space above and below each heading

g. Sub-headings are bold-faced, flush left and with a full space above and below each sub-heading

5. The first line of your submission should be the title, then a blank line and the word “Abstract,” flush left. followed by a colon, then the text of the abstract.  The text of the abstract is to be followed by a full space, and then the word Keywords, flush left and followed by a colon, and then the keywordsf separated by a comma. 

6. Once you have finished the article, make sure to get rid of metadata by:

a. Click on file

b. Click “Check for Issues”

c. Click “Inspect Document”

d. Click “Inspect”

e. Next to “Document Properties and Personal Information” click “Remove All”

7. Submit the article saved in RTF or Word format, using File, Save As and choosing RTF.  Do not send it as a *.doc or *.wpd or other word processing format.

8. Be sure there is no metadata in the document identifying you.

9. When you use the names of persons whose identity needs to be protected, you should obviously use a different name.  To make this clear to the reader, the first time that pseudonym is used, merely put quotes around the name.  

Note: Names of persons and organizations mentioned in the articles published in Reflections should have been changed to protect their privacy.  Reflections disclaims responsibility for statements, either fact or opinion, made by contributors.

For screen shots on how to submit in Open Journal Systems Version 3, see this PDF:


To register for the journal, visit www.rnoph.org  and click on Register or visit here:


To login, visit www.rnoph.org  and click on Login or visit here:






To be announced shortly.

Field Education

This is a permanent special section, edited by Beth Lewis, Director of Field Education at Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.  It is designed to ensure that in our regularly issues, our Table of Contents can include a Field Education section with submission relevant to field instruction, field advisement, field administration and the experiences of students in field placements.  All articles are fully peer reviewed.


Although Reflections does not publish research results or literature reviews, the journal has a long history of publishing narratives of the interpersonal aspects of the research process. This section will be devoted to such narratives.

Teaching & Learning

The notion of teaching practice, in other words of teaching as a form of practice, has long roots in social work.  Also, the very first book on social work education, by Bertha Reynolds, was titled Teaching and Learning in the Practice of Social Work.  This section will collect manuscripts by teachers and students that reflect on the process of teaching and learning, broadly construed.

Cultural Humility in Practice


Professionals engaged in practice must become increasingly self-aware understanding both how their own unique individual experiences influence their worldviews and values and how the unique individual experiences of their clients influence each client’s worldviews and values. Further, various ethnic and racial groups may have a diversity of beliefs, social structures, interactional patterns, and expectations. In addition, each individual client has various intersecting dimensions of diversity that include socioeconomic class, sexuality, gender identification, and dis/ability. 

Because of these factors, practitioners need to cultivate the skills of practicing with cultural humility. Those who practice with cultural humility use four intersecting elements of ongoing self-reflection, self-critique, lifelong learning, and a commitment to advocacy and institutional change to guide their work with clients (Hook, Davis, Owen, Worthington, & Utsey, 2013; Ratts, Singh, Nassar-McMillan, Butler, & McCullough, 2015). 

Cultural humility is not the same as cultural competence. Unlike cultural competence which focuses largely on knowledge and training within academic settings to achieve a specific goal, cultural humility fosters a collaborative and non-hierarchical relationship between practitioner and client that takes the  practitioner out of the role as an expert on another’s culture. Cultural humility affords the practitioner to become curious about their client’s experiences and seeks to address issues of power, social injustice, discrimination, and bias at all system levels (Foronda, Baptiste, Reinholdt, Ousman, 2016; Hook, Davis, Owen, Worthington & Utsey, 2013; Tervalon & Murray-Garcia, 1998). 

Aim and Scope of Special Section

This Special Section of Reflections seeks contributors who use the principles of cultural humility in their work, what it means to be a culturally humble practitioner, the challenges and triumphs of following this framework, training or mentorship in cultural humility, practice applications, and the fundamentals of cultural humility. The Guest Editors are Beth Russell, PhD, LCSW, Pam Viggiani, PhD, LMSW, and Debra Fromm Faria, LCSW from the College at Brockport’s Department of Social Work. The editors are particularly interested in why individuals chose cultural humility as their preferred framework and how they used it in practice with specific attention to knowledge, values, and skills. Submissions of any length- from short narratives focused on a single vignette to longer stories with multiple portrayals of interaction and references to the literature- are welcome (within an overall range of 1200-8000 words).

This Special Section Focuses on Narratives From.....

academics, practitioners in agencies, clinicians, and graduate students from health, behavioral, and mental health fields including social work, nursing, marriage and family therapists, counselors, psychologists, and other related disciplines. 

For inquiries about submissions for this special section, contact Guest Editors:

Beth Russell, PhD, MSW, College at Brockport, erussell@brockport.edu,  (preferred contact)

Pam Viggiani, PhD, MSW, College at Brockport, pviggian@brockport.edu

Debra Fromm Faria, CSW, College at Brockport, dffaria@brockport.edu

Effectiveness of Continuing Education


For decades, social work professionals have been responsible for remaining current with changing knowledge and skills via continuing education. This is also true for allied professions as well. This commitment to lifelong learning is one of the core tenets of all professions. With the rapid changes affecting the human services environment, including managed care, value-based work, growing work with diverse populations, and changes in the political landscape, professional education needs to ensure that their practitioners remain responsive to systemic needs. As such, it is critical that social work and others continuing education remain up to date with professional practice, knowledge, and skills. It is important that we are questioning how continuing education is being provided, received, and put into practice. We must look at both the challenges and success that continuing education is facing as it responds to the thousands of practitioners who are in need of furthering their skills and competencies.  Thus, there is a need for the special section in the Reflection Journal issue on this topic.

Aim and Scope of Special Section

Guest editors are seeking narrative expositions and reflections from continuing education providers as well as those affected – including government, academics, social workers and other practitioners themselves – who are aware of the importance of both offering and participating in courses.  Reflections on the design and use of technological advances to deliver continuing education as well as on content to encourage practitioners to remain technologically up-to-date are welcome. Submissions could include personal experiences with continuing education, the range of continuing education offered (quality, topics, and accessibility), gaps in and opportunities for continuing education, and/or hopes for continuing education moving forward.

This Special Section Focuses on Narratives From…

Individuals who are intersecting with professional continuing education and individuals who have had experiences with professional continuing education and ideally, those who can speak to bridging that impact with larger systems, including organizations, communities, and policies. All submissions should range from 1200-8000 words in length.

For inquiries about submission for this special section, contact Guest Editor: Patricia Gray, LCSW, Silberman School of Social Work, pg202@hunter.cuny.edu.

Additional Guest Editors: Dr. Shakira Kennedy, Touro School of Social Work, skennedy@touro.edu; Dr. Eric Levine, Touro School of Social Work, eric.levine@touro.edu; Dr. Lynn Levy, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, llevy1@yu.edu; Amanda Saake, LMSW, Coalition for Behavioral Health, asaake@coalitionny.org; Benjamin Sher, LMSW, New York University School of Social Work, benjamin.sher@nyu.edu.

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