Hi, and welcome to this week’s In Supervision post!
This week, I’d like to talk about Page and Wosket’s Cyclical model of supervision.
In doing research for this week’s post, I came across the original model and two further updates of the model by the authors. I will write this post from the point of view of my own practice and what I find useful about this model, whilst keeping true to the model as described by Page and Wosket.
An important aspect of this model is that it’s used not only for clinical supervision of counsellors, but also opens the supervision arena to coaches, group facilitators, social workers, managers, nurses, educators, trainee supervisors.
In regards to the past models I’ve discussed, this model gives them a well-rounded structure and complements them well. The seven-eyed model works well within the focus, bridge and space aspects of the cyclical model, the developmental model encompasses the focus and space, and the functional model links well mainly with the contracting, focus and review aspects of the cyclical model.
This model pays attention to five areas that are closely linked with each other. These are:
- Contract – terms agreed between the supervisor and the supervisee/therapist
- Focus – what the work is going to be about and how
each session is going to look
- Space – reflective, exploratory and developmental work that takes place throughout the process of supervision
- Bridge – the way the supervision session allows the supervisee to bring what has been worked on back to the sessions with his/her clients
- Review – an opportunity to re-contract and talk about how the supervisory relationship is going, what is working well and what is lacking and needs re-formulating and work.
In the 2000 update of the model, Page and Wosket pair these even further, to make reference to two specific aspects in supervision:
- Supervisory Relationship – Contract and Review
- Supervisee – Client Relationships (context/environment) – Focus and Bridge
- Awareness and Intent of Supervision – The space that develops between these two pairs allows for deeper exploratory work.
Awareness and intent are important in supervision, especially at the start. These will allow the other areas – contracting, bridge – to develop and work well.
Having an aim, a goal, and a way of working helps develop the supervisee’s awareness of the various aspects of working as a counsellor (or as a social worker, nurse, etc.) and develop the skills required to work to a high standard and best help his/her clients move forward in their lives.
Awareness also allows space to review the supervisory relationship and adjust or change where things are not working as well as they did at the start or at other stages of the relationship.
The latest, 2015, update sets the various aspects of the model in a pyramid, but this doesn’t mean for the authors that one is more important than the other. They are all inter-dependent on one another for the supervision process to take place effectively, successfully and ethically. Personally, I prefer the cyclical rather than the pyramid for this model. It seems to make more sense and encompass so much more.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
Vital for a good supervisory relationship are trust, openness and space to grow by asking, questioning, working through mistakes…