The first phase of the reflective teaching and learning model revealed that the students' initial perspectives of service users showed a tendency to stereotype or categorize them. Argyris and Schôn (1996: 93) saw the need to stereotype as a defensive action emanating from Model I non-reflective thinking. Also, the students had discussed the difficulties they encountered with service users as being primarily caused by poor treatment at the hands of other professionals or service providers, unreasonable behaviour on the part of the parents or a combination of the two.