The overall level of satisfaction experienced by service users who access health and social services may often be determined by the authenticity, openness and responsiveness shown to them by individual professionals. However, many service users leave encounters with professionals with feelings of helplessness and a sense that they have neither been listened to nor understood. This may be because, increasingly, many professionals find that limited resources and agency constraints limit their ability to respond fully to client need. However it can also be because the professional perceives the service user only in terms of a specific problem or a theoretical construct, rather than as a unique person with a unique set of issues to be considered (Ming Tsang 1998: 25). Over the past twenty years theorists have suggested that discontinuity between client need and professional response may be rooted in the nature of professional learning and the limitations of professional knowledge. With its emphasis on academic rigour and job-related competencies, professional education tends to produce practitioners who may be theoretically or technically skilled but who have not learned to understand and incorporate the service user's unique perspective into the professional response. The concept of reflective learning for professionals has attempted to address this issue, encouraging professionals to look beyond technical competencies thus enabling them to place the relationship with the service user at the centre of professional practice. Reflective teaching and learning is not confined to the acquisition of new skills, rather it creates an environment where professionals are helped to analyse and re-apprise their practice. The goal of reflective learning is a transformation of perspective (Mezirow 1991) - a significant shift in perspective that allows professionals not only to critically review their practice, but which also helps them to work in a more responsive, creative, and ultimately more effective manner.