“Quality work by an individual professional cannot be sustained alone. We need to be continually learning, developing our personal capacity for our own being, is the most important resource we all use in our work.”
(Hawkins & Shohet, 2012)
Supervision is a work-based learning relationship, characterised by relating and reflecting. It is a critical component of safe and effective practice across counselling and therapeutic services, ensuring a containing and reflective space for practitioners to acknowledge and process the often stressful, uncomfortable and painful experiences of working with their client base, their families and the systems around them.
As a supervisor, my role is to offer a relational bridge and a supportive alliance in which internal and external relational changes can take place via a pro-collaborative process. I hope to create an active learning situation to help us all thrive, with attention to understand the clients’ and our own internal states. I hope to assist in the acquisition of adaptive skills to promote your own resilience but significantly that of your clients.
I seek to offer containment and reflection rooted in a dynamic and relational supervisory experience where both supervisor and supervisee are enabled to learn and grow across their professional career.
I am a BACP accredited therapist and I have a Diploma in Integrative Supervision. I have provided clinical supervision to both qualified and trainee counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, and art therapists from a wide range of theoretical orientations in my role as a manager delivering school based therapeutic services. as well as in my private practice. I participate and facilitate both peer and group supervision.
My own personal and professional value base is heavily rooted in the person-centered therapeutic approach but I have drawn from a diverse range of learning and practice, informed by Attachment Theory with a mainly humanistic, systemic, transcultural and social justice approach. I am interested in exploring relational depth and psychological well-being taking both a systems and a social constructionist approach linking mental health to each individual's unique life experience.
In thinking about the supervisory relationship it is important to understand one’s own core values and beliefs systems around the significance of reflection and the act of ‘relating’ with others: jointly working to make a conscious consideration of critical questioning of the wider schema in which we are all operating.
Compassionate Collaboration: Joint Thinking about Thinking
I see supervision as a joint endeavour rising to the challenges of working within the difficult landscape of mental health provision. Unprecedented global challenges have led to an increase in human distress with services having to adapt to the greater demand with fewer resources. In a recent IAPT survey of counselling professionals they spoke of their well-being being impacted by the lack of supportive supervision and management resulting in their burn out and low morale. My first question to supervisees is always ‘how are you?’ It is important for supervisees to bring all parts of their lives so that we can explore how personal situations impact on their client work and to prioritise the restorative aspects of supervision.
I offer a participative and co-operative supervisory alliance which seeks to raise awareness within a reflective space of trust and safety.
I offer compassionate containment to alleviate anxiety, vulnerability, shame and fear within the supervisory relationship. My approach is non-directive but with gentle challenge, clear feedback and productive questioning techniques, providing a framework for reflection which assists in identifying supervisee learning needs and specific areas for professional and clinical development.
Supervisory Tasks and Functions Will Focus On:
The development of critical thinking in relation to clinical material and an ethical supervisory style of reflexivity to client and organisational dilemmas.
Linking theory to practice but also the effectiveness of the work, and, of just ‘being’ with your clients.
Identifying personality and interpersonal behaviour that affects your work as a professional in particular your emotional bandwidth; paying regard to attachment dynamics, family constellation and transference material being triggered within the therapeutic relationship.
The ethical framework, the supervision landscape, theories, practicalities, systems and context are investigated, balancing the management of development/performance.
Supervisees are reminded to think of the dynamics of their clients’ cultural environment and their sense of agency and if these are in conflict with their own belief systems and value motivations.
Reflective practice encouraging introspection on working ‘transculturally’ and the development as a ‘diversity safe’ practitioner with a focus on issues pertaining to difference and diversity.