The Experience of Participating in the Role-Play Discussions

Basic training is the central link in the professional development of any specialist. However, the process of forming a future specialist is not limited to acquiring theoretical knowledge. A competent combination of academic knowledge with practical skills helps to understand better not only professional competence, but also the feelings of the client. At the same time, it is important to remember that the main working tool of a clinician is the own identity – the formation, maturity, thoroughness of his personality, knowledge of the own mind and inner feelings, as well as a high level of reflection. Thus, the main aim of the assignment is to reflect on the experience of participating in the role-play discussions.

Participating in the discussions as a clinician, I have realized that correct interpretation of the external manifestations of a person is possible only in the context of certain life situations that actualize the relevant psychological properties and processes corresponding to them in content. According to Flynn & Stack (2006), a clinician must understand the psychological essence well, which is the real basis for a correct understanding of another person and existing problems. It can be said that role-play discussions help to form psychological thinking as a reflective mental activity that provides the formulation and solution of psychological and medical problems, through analysis, reflection, and planning of the client’s reactions. This is the reproduction of real life activity in the ideal plan. Thus, I have learned that modeling behavior can lead to the formation of new behavior at the cognitive level, i.e., a person may know how to use some techniques and working instruments, but in order that he really began to do this, a clinician needs to get a direct social reinforcement: cueing and providing feedback.

Participating in the discussions as a client, I have realized that the willingness to reveal to a clinician depends on the degree of trust. It means that many clients unwittingly try to put a clinician to their place, to appear before this person in the most favorable light. Until the stereotype of the relationship is overcome, the clients are likely to “edit” the information that they report about themselves, of course, in accordance with their own understanding of attractive features. Moreover, I have also understood that talking about ourselves, we involuntarily distort facts, setting them out in accordance with own assessments and views. We seek meaning in what is happening, we make up our own chain of causes and effects. Thus, a clinician should always remember that every client understands the situation in his own way and the main task is to find the truth and be effective in providing adequate help and treatment to the client.

I strongly believe that the role-play discussions were very helpful for my future development as a good specialist because these discussions allowed theoretical information to acquire an inner meaning. It seems that personal experience gained new features using creative approach in the role-play discussions. Thus, the tradition of using concrete situations in teaching is based on the principle ‘the movement to truth is more important than the truth itself’.

In conclusion, taking an active part in the role-play discussions, I have found that these discussions allowed to expand the experience of participants by presenting them with an unexpected situation in which it is proposed to accept the position (role) of one of the participants and then to work out a way that will bring this situation to a worthy result. I consider the role-play discussions to be a good way to understand the material better through using theory in practice. I believe that such an experience may help students to develop their both analytical and communicative skills, as well as to find proper answers to their inner contradictions. Thus, the role-play discussions are affective tools in acquiring professional skills that help clients to explore their internal perceptions and conflicts, understand existing problems and make changes in their own thoughts, emotions and behavior.


Flynn, J. & Stack, M. (2006). The Role of the Preceptor: A Guide for Nurse Educators, Clinicians, and Managers. Springer.

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