Reflection in action

Organization presenting this method: Outward Bound


Reflection during the activity, processing at the edge, at the very moment when the participant is confronted with the boundaries of his frame of reference


Reflection can be done anytime. But in outdoor activities, it is often very strong to reflect during the activity instead of doing it in the most classical way, after the activity.

Not just at any given moment in the activity. A moment of surprise, frustration, “a sense of stuckness”. The moment where either old figures of thought are preserved or new ones occur or are generated.

It gives your participant the opportunity to take ‘a step back’ and to become aware of what he is thinking or feeling at that exact moment. He becomes aware of the possibilities and his ‘challenge by choise”. Aware of that very specific process-moment when hope and fear reveal themselves.


You do not wait till ‘the moment’ is over. If a participant is stuck in a certain way, you ask a simple reflective question. E.g. “What is going on”?

You might not get an immediate answer to your question…. But you stay in touch, close, connected to facilitate his/her choise.


If people want to grow through experience, there is a certain amount of challenge and discomfort needed. A setting where people can stretch themselves or where others provide this kind of setting is needed. At Outward Bound Belgium we use outdoor settings and activities to provide ‘beklijvende ervaringen’


There are no real steps in this reflection method. A big part lays in the approach of the trainer rather than in a specific method or the follow up of questions. You can read more about experiential based training

Text and Model by Karine Vermeylen: processing at the edge