Passionate about the development of intentional, deliberate, empowered and awake clinicians.

These resources are made available by Virginia Spielmann, PhD, OTR/L. The guidebook was created in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Infant and Early Childhood Development, with Emphases in Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, Ca.

Virginia is the Executive Director of STAR Institute for Sensory Processing in Centennial, Colorado. She is clinical lead and co-author of the Critical Core therapeutically applied role playing game and co-designer of the Palaana sensory lounger. She is a well-travelled speaker, coach and educator on topics including sensory integration, DIR/Floortime, child development and infant mental health. She has conducted trainings in Kenya, Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India, and the USA and leads workshops at international conferences.

Virginia obtained her BSc in Occupational Therapy at Oxford Brookes University, England (2002), her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University, Milwaukee (2018), and her PhD from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara (2021). She is a DIR/Floortime Training Leader and Expert and clinical consultant for the Interdisciplinary Council for Development and Learning (ICDL). Her extensive pediatric experience includes neurodivergent children and families, including those with differences in Sensory Integration and Processing, infant mental health issues, adoption, developmental trauma and acquired brain injury.

Virginia has considerable post-graduate training, she is certified on the SIPT. She is a published author and contributed to the STAR Frame of Reference as part of the 4th Edition of Frames of Reference for Pediatric Occupational Therapy, alongside Dr. Miller and Dr. Schoen.

Click the button to read the dissertation that started it all. This will take you to an external site. [coming soon]



A curated list of recommended multi-media resources to enrich your professional reflection journey.
01. Barbara Stroud and Mary Claire Heffron

This interview, recorded in 2020, is so full of wisdom that you will need to watch it twice.


Reflective Supervision Wheel The Reflective Supervision Wheel is a tool that integrates the work of Angie Tomlin, Tom Pavlov, Christopher Watson, Alliance and Minnesota colleagues, Sarah Shea, Sheryl Goldberg, and Deborah Weatherston around the work and articles they have authored about Reflective Supervision and Consultation. The outer circles reflect the conditions and behaviors that support the process. The inner circle reflects essential elements of the RIOS, the reflective interaction observation scale. Parallel process is integral to all. Sarah Shea and colleagues’ work attends to the individual’s capacity for self-growth change through reflective supervision experiences.


03. Rachel Naomi Remen.


Rachel Naomi Remen, MD has spoken a lot on the subject of generous listening. “In generous listening you don’t even listen in order to understand why the other person feels the way they do. It doesn’t matter why, what matters is what’s true for this person and you simply receive it and respect it and in that safe interaction something can happen which is larger than before and that’s all you need.”

Onbeing Podcast




Realizing Our Potential

Why Do We Need Professional Reflection?

Professional reflection and its related activities offer the only space in the work life of the clinician where human relationships and professional sense of self are prioritized and attended to. Through reflective supervision and reflective dialogue professional legitimacy, identity and profile are privileged, nurtured and explored.

Maintaining professional self in an indifferent environment: Professional reflection offers the clinician an opportunity to actively resist being socialized into a deficit based, medical model that historically fails to recognize the humane.

Through professional reflection processes, we can explore the tensions within which we must operate including: balancing biomedical and psychosocial models of care; theory and practice; what has happened and what is going to happen next; the high hard ground and the swampy lowland; technico-rational and tacit-relational; being and doing; theory-in-use versus espoused theory; and certainty versus uncertainty

Reflective supervision—either in a group or one-to-one—offers a safe space where the practitioner experiences boundaried and relationship-based care and support, teaching via experience and modeling, mitigating vicarious trauma, and refueling energies. Thus, enabling the practitioner to go out and care for others.