SUPERVISION for Counsellors / Psychotherapists: I am a qualified and experienced Supervisor with extensive experience of supervising students, newly qualified and experienced counsellors / psychotherapists either individually or in groups.
In my private practice I describe myself as an integrative counsellor / psychotherapist, unless for example; a specific contract requires me to use a specific therapeutic approach. Likewise in supervision, I adapt to the needs of my supervisee; whether they are integrative, person-centred or cognitive behavioural therapists.
A good supervisory relationship enhances our professional work, ensures our safe practice and enables us to question where we may feel ‘stuck’ with a client or to address any concerns we may have openly without feeling judged or anxious. As I look across the years, I am personally very grateful for the ‘good’ supervisory relationships I have had. For the work we have done together and how each supervisor’s influence has contributed to my development as a professional counsellor / psychotherapist.
By contrast, a supervisory relationship which is not working, is hard work and as a supervisee, can make it difficult to be open and share our vulnerabilities. This is not good as we may not share areas of concern or risk effectively and can lead to unsafe practice. I would stress that this is not necessarily a negative reflection on either individual, just that the relationship did not ‘gel’.
Where anyone has a concern about their supervision, they should try and discuss it with their supervisor to see how it can be resolved or if there are serious concerns speak to their line manager, course tutor or their supervisor’s professional body e.g. BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), BABCP (British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies).
Given the importance in the supervisory role in our clinical work, and the fact that it is an ongoing professional relationship, I believe that if you are interested in having me as your supervisor, that you should check out whether I am someone you feel you could work with. For this reason, I would suggest that before we commit to supervision, that we meet informally, for a coffee (or during COVID times perhaps over Zoom etc so that we can talk) to get to know each other a little and to clarify what you need from supervision before committing to anything.
MY WORK AS A SUPERVISOR
I enjoy working as a supervisor. From the first meeting with a potential new supervisee, getting to know them and understanding what they are looking for in a supervisor (and whether that might be me), to developing a working relationship, is something I never tire of. I believe that supervision should be adapted to the experience and needs of each supervisee. From the student who may need support in undertaking their first counselling session and translating theory into practice with clients, to experienced counsellors / psychotherapists where there may be more complexity in the presentation of clients and a more reflective quality to the work we undertake together.
Given the nature of the profession we are working in, I am keen that we ensure that we have sufficient time to reflect on our work with clients and believe that this can lead to greater insight into what is going on for the client as well as what is happening in the therapeutic relationship.
I am also keen to stress to all supervisees that they need to ensure that they focus on their own self care. In our professional capacity we are working with individuals who are struggling. They bring to us their problems, their distress and fears. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the needs of our clients, and those around us, and without attending to our own needs we can become worn out, jaded or at worst, burn out. Without supervision, where we can explore what is happening in therapy with our clients, we may not identify e.g. transference issues that leave us personally feeling flat after working with a client. Supervision is a space where we can explore and talk out loud about some of the emotional ‘debris’ that our clients may leave with us. We can also use this relationship to check whether our own life experiences, past or present are being triggered and influencing our work. Supervision can ensure we retain clarity and to know where our professional boundaries are.
Working as a counsellor / psychotherapist, particularly in private practice can be experienced by some as isolating, and I will work with supervisees on this aspect of their self care.
If you are a counsellor / psychotherapist working for an organisation, there may be other work related issues which impact your role. As a workplace therapist for over ten years, whether these are workload issues, lack of support within the organisation or workplace relationships, these are all areas which can impact our role as a counsellor / psychotherapist and are areas I am familiar with.
Am I the supervisor you are looking for? Please call me to discuss what your needs are, without obligation!