A note to counsellors looking for supervision.
During 2009 I completed the Certificate and Advanced Diploma in Person Centred Supervision of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, at The University of Warwick and now offer supervision to experienced and trainee counsellors in the Herts Bucks area.
I am often asked by supervisees about my theoretical understanding of counselling and counsellor supervision, so I thought it might be a good idea to put together a description of the way I see supervision.
My main theoretical modality is Person Centred, humanistic and I refer regularly to the ideas put forward by Carl Rogers, however, as far as my counselling and supervision are concerned, I take his writings to be important guiding principles rather than a dogma. my own experience of the supervision process is that I have received excellent supervision from people who practice in a humanistic way, however I have also had very useful supervision from people who work in other modalities, so it seems difficult to pin down the “right” theoretical model for supervision.
In the Sage Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy Val Wosket describes ”supervision at its best as a restorative process that nourishes the supervisee and helps to replenish emotional energy. As such it has a mental health function and counteracts the effects of stress. Clinical supervision does not have a disciplinary function and within supervision the therapist should feel free to discuss their difficulties in working with clients without disaproval or judgement. Supervision is different from line management in that the focus of the work is the interaction between the practitioner and the client rather than the management of casework”. And that is a view that I can definitely go along with.
The writing of Inskipp and Proctor has been helpful in my supervision practice, I also find Peter Hawkins and Robert Shohet particularly illuminating and usually, when I am with a supervisee, I will have somewhere in the back of my mind, their double matrix model for supervision. Other writers on Counsellor Supervision include Keith Tudor and Mike Worrall with their book, Freedom to Practice.
Those are some of the people and ideas that have influenced my theoretical approach to supervision, but what about my own philosophy and practice of supervision.
My view is that anything that affects client work is legitimate material to bring to supervision, especially where it affects the relationship between client and counsellor. For me supervision is a collaborative, interested and appreciative enquiry into the work that is brought.
Although supervision is not personal therapy, management, or teaching, it seems that at times it does encompass each of these roles depending on the support required by the supervisee at that moment, so nothing is rejected as unsuitable for supervision.
When I reflect upon my own needs in supervision I find that I would like to have a safe and reliable relationship with a dependable colleague; someone who will offer support, and at times, supportive challenge, helping me to understand my own strengths and weaknesses; someone who will try to help me to understand my own relationship with the work that I do and the people I meet.
As these are the elements that help me to work more effectively with my clients, it seems natural that I try to bring them into my working relationships with supervisees.
I am always interested to meet people to find out what it might be like to work together, so if you are a counsellor or other health professional looking for supervision and would like to talk things over, please:-
give me a call on 01923 262725
or e-mail [email protected]
Or click to open the email contact form.
Currently my fee for a 90 minute supervision session is £50, however, if you are working for an agency that pays towards your supervision please phone me to talk about the details.
Although I may not agree with or indorse every single word, the following links contain some useful information about supervision and might be of interest.
Infed. - The functions of supervision.
A brief summary of supervision models.
Dr. de Bono's six thinking hats for group supervision.