How reflective supervision can benefit you
While supervision has its traditions in the practice of psychotherapy and counselling, these days it is widely adopted across the health professions and can benefit counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses, allied and complementary health professionals, educators, ministers and most people in the caring and helping professions.
- Promotes improved personal and professional awareness
- Supports greater understanding of influences upon the therapeutic relationship including transference and countertransference
- Improves professional judgement and skills development of the practitioner
- Improves ethical decision making in complex cases
- Supports practitioner wellbeing through a supportive relationship with the supervisee, and
- Mitigates against factors that can lead to burnout
Consequently, supervision helps keep supervisees vital and alive to work with their clients.
What is supervision and who is it for?
- Supervision occurs in a specifically contracted relationship between a trained and qualified supervisor and supervisee.
- Supervision is a practice for seasoned professionals as well as newer students and interns and occurs over the life of the health professionals’ registration and practice.
- The purpose of supervision is to ensure that the client receives the best possible care from the supervisee practitioner.
- Together in supervision, the supervisor assists the supervisee to reflect on the things that can have an influence upon the work with their clients.
- There are many approaches to supervision, however, a central component of effective supervision is that it facilitates the supervisees critical reflection upon their work so they can learn from and act upon their experience. This includes exploring both the challenges and rewards of working with clients.
- Consequently, supervision promotes the supervisees ongoing learning and development about their practice with clients.
My experience as a supervisee
- Over the years I have received supervision in individual and group formats. This has been for my private practice as well as in years gone by when working with agencies.
- I currently receive supervision from an experienced professional for my provision of counselling and psychotherapy with individuals and couples; supervision of my supervision practice including individual and group formats; and my work as an educator.
- Additionally, I participate in a peer group review with other members who include psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists and psychotherapists.
- I also participate in a lively supervision of supervision group with other supervisors.
My experience as a supervisor
- I provide supervision to individuals and organisations.
- This has included individual and group formats.
- Additionally, I have established supervision programs and hired supervisors within agencies.
- I also provide supervision of supervision
- My supervisees have included counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, educators, students, interns, and pastoral workers.
My approach to supervision
- I am a registered supervisor with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).
- I can’t help but be influenced by my broad experience. This has taught me that everything provides an opportunity for critical reflection for its influence upon the work.
- I tailor my supervision relationship to what you need based upon your learning goals and wishes for supervision. Those starting in the profession might need more structure and focus than seasoned professionals who tend to be self-directed learners.
- More than anything, supervision needs to be supportive and hold us in the work with your clients.
- Supervision is a developmental activity, and each of us is at different levels of development with our practice. I am guided by your narrative but will aim to help you notice how you are growing, changing and developing, or draw your attention to your existing and emerging strengths over time.
- Supervision also needs to keep us fresh and awake to the work, to notice when our assumptions are in the driver’s seat, so I will also challenge you to think through where you are coming from and why, or to consider what else might be helpful to consider.
- There are many ways to work therapeutically. We don’t have to work the same way and see things through the same lens. Often it is helpful and more stimulating to see things a little differently, that way they can be thought about more critically.
- Theoretically, and concerning models of supervision, I am influenced by the scholarship of Michael Carrol; Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet with their Seven Eyed Lens, and Alison Strasser from the Centre For Existential Practice in Australia, who developed the Wheel of Supervision, an existentially leaning multi-theoretical model.
Supervision of supervision
Supervision of supervision occurs in a specially contracted relationship between the supervisor and supervisee/supervisor who is supervising another supervisee. At the end of this line is the client. It sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Indeed, sometimes it is. According to the Centre For Existential Practice, diagrammatically it looks like this:
Often the specific detail of the client is less apparent in the supervision of supervision. What comes to the fore is the experience of the Supervisee/Supervisor and how this plays out with either the Supervisor/Therapist or with me in Supervision of Supervision. Often, we can elicit insight into parallel processes and other relational factors that can provide an understanding of the original supervisor/therapist/client triad. I have experience of this kind of work individually, though especially in Supervision of Supervision groups where discussion can be lively, thoughtful and stimulating. In this context I have been in the role of Supervisee/Supervisor and also Supervisor of Supervision which gives me a richer understanding of the process. Please contact me on 0412 518 024 if this is of interest.
Getting started with supervision
- I am available for both online and face to face supervision.
- I work with a wide range of health professionals
- Initially, it can help to have a conversation by phone about your perceived supervision needs.
- Some of the things we will talk about include your goals and wishes for supervision, your philosophy and experience of supervision, likes and dislikes, what helps you to learn, the difference between supervision and therapy, your qualifications, insurance, ethical frameworks and any requirements towards your professional memberships, any expectations from your employer or the system you work within, together with practical matters about how and when we will meet, and over what time frame.
- Why not give me a call on 0412 518 024 or if you prefer, you could contact me by email through my contact details here.
SUPERVISION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WITH CHRONIC OR LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS
I have conducted specialised research and supervise health professionals concerned about their health and practice.