Permanent Call for Narratives on Practice, Field Education, Teaching Reflections, and Research Reflections


Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping is a double-blind peer reviewed open-access interdisciplinary journal that has been published since 1995. We are also carried online by both Proquest Research Library and EBSCO SocIndex.

This is an open call for narratives as well as for submissions to our sections on Field Education, Teaching Reflections, Historical Reflections, and Research Reflections. Reflections narratives convey interpersonal interactions, witnessed events, and felt experiences. Rooted in the rich portrayal of key moments, this narrative content is conveyed via vignettes. This narrative content is placed within the context of a well-told story (exposition) that helps readers discover new ways of thinking about the personal, the professional, and the political in our lives. Authors then often reflect on that story and share conclusions. Often, however, the narrative stands alone, which in a way is powerful.

Practice Section (Dr. Jon Christopher Hall, Editor). Submissions to this section use the narrative method to present narratives of professional helping – broadly construed to include work with clients and communities and activism by helping professionals engaged in social justice work. Such articles are valuable for education for practice. They also contribute to empirical knowledge about the nature of practice in the helping professions. Finally, they often make important conceptual contributions via reflections that address unresolved theoretical problems. In addition the above general call for narratives, Reflections has established fully peer-reviewed special sections. Articles published in these sections still employ the narrative method, but often do not include content on professional practice with clients and communities per se. When choosing to submit an article, authors should consider whether they should make a general submission or submit to one of the following sections. The journal reserves the right to notify an author that their article has been assigned to one of these sections. Please feel free to consult the editor prior to submission:

 Field Education Section (Dr. Beth Lewis, Section Editor for Field Education): The process of field advisement and field instruction, as well as the experience of being a student in a practicum, can stimulate valuable narratives.

 Teaching Reflections (Dr. Carol Langer, Editor): The notion of teaching as a form of practice, has long roots in social work. The 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. This section continues the journal's practice of publishing narrative accounts of classroom experiences, teaching innovations, civic engagement work, university-community partnerships, and continuing education. As you write, place your reflection within a historical context, focus on the present, and reflect on the relevance of your narrative for the envisioned future.

 Research Reflections (Dr. Julie Altman, Editor): 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.

 Reflections on Disaster and Catastrophe (Drs. Priscilla Allen, Stephen Applewhite, Saundra Crewe, Priscilla Gibson, and Ruby Gourdine, Editors):  Disasters and catastrophes are ever occurring and require interventions and strategies that draw on individual and collective resilience and address issues of human needs, human rights, and social justice. The journal seeks a wide array of narratives of personal, professional and political responses that reflect on past, current, and future disasters and catastrophes, whether human instigated or natural. Note: Narratives submitted to the earlier Call for a Special Issue on REFLECTIONS ON DISASTER: 2017 HURRICANES, FLOODS, AND FIRE Stories of Widespread Destruction and Unparalleled Human Resilience and Response will be published in this section.

Please write a narrative in a style which makes sense to you, and submit it to Reflections. For feedback, even on an early idea for a narrative, please contact one of the editors. 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 the range of 1200-8000 words). For more information on submitting narratives, please feel free to contact the journal at and you will be put in contact with one of the editors. 

To Submit: Register (chose Author Roles as Reader & Author). Then visit User Home, choose Author, and see the New Submission button. Be sure to select the appropriate General Submission or Special Section.