Supervision is a complex relationship which inevitably varies according to the stage of development of the supervisee. Supervising a trainee is very different from supervising an experienced therapist. As a supervisor my task is basically twofold. Primarily it is about the care and development of the supervisee and their practice, and with trainees the secondary responsibility is about helping to ensure a good level of care for the supervisee’s clients. Within this there are multiple aspects to attend to; the clients’ needs, the supervisee’s needs for support, education and development, the therapist / client relationships, the context of the therapy, the supervisor and supervisee’s relationship, together with attending to the wider systemic fields that surrounds and influences all these.
The first stage is to explore and agree on as clear a contract as possible. What do you need and want from supervision and how are those needs going to be met. Obviously part of this is around the practicalities of time, place, money, boundaries, etc. There is also my need to understanding your situation, the nature of your practice, your code of ethics, whether you are in therapy, your modality and so on. You need to understand what I am offering, what my approach is, and whether it fits with your requirements.
For the supervisor / supervisee relationship to work well, it needs to, over time, develop ever more openness and safety and honesty. After all it is only in such a space that you can feel safe enough to bring and look at all aspects of your practice as well as an openness to looking deeply into yourself so as to facilitate your growth and development as a therapist. The care of our clients is not about having to be a perfect therapist, which none of us can be, it is about our willingness to learn and know ourselves better.
As colleagues, we need to work together to develop this quality of relationship so that there is space for you to grow and develop, as well as your clients. The nature of the relationship inevitably varies according to the level of experience and development of both the supervisee and the supervisor.
If you would like to discuss supervision with me, I am happy to discuss any aspect of this over the phone to start with.
I have a Diploma in Supervision from The Link Centre. Fees £50 per hour.