As therapists, it is vital that we have a good support system in place for our professional and confidential work.
Personal therapy is one way in which we can get this support. Supervision is another, and it will be the focus of these posts.
In the next few months, I will talk a bit about 18 ways in which we should expect supervision to work for us.
I will discuss 18 things we should expect from our supervisory relationship in order to be accountable and working to a professional standard, for the sake of our practice, our profession, and most importantly, for the sake of our clients
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In this post, I want to talk about how trusting our supervisor can provide a safe space to challenge our practice.
One of the purposes of supervision is to help us grow as practitioners.
In order to grow, we need to be able to talk about anything and everything that comes up for us in our work with clients and supervisees.
The supervisor needs to be able to challenge the supervisee’s practice in a constructive, non-judgemental manner.
If this is achieved in the supervisory relationship, the supervisee should be able to discuss their fears, doubts and dilemmas without censorship.
This will allow the supervisee to open up and therefore make the most out of supervision, keeping his clients safe, keeping themselves safe and working to a professional and ethical standard.
Supervision can also challenge the supervisee when they feel out of their comfort zone. The supervisor should reassure the supervisee that they don’t have to know anything, and provide support when a new client issue or client presentation arises, and is baffling the supervisee a bit.
I find that sometimes just talking through a particular topic that happened in session with a client will help me gain distance and clarity, and get me back on track to help my client to the best of my ability in the next session.
We are all human even though we might have a better understanding of human behaviour. This doesn’t remove any blind spots we might have, and it’s important to work these out in personal therapy, but also in supervision, as both spaces will deal with the same thing in very different ways.
Exploring ethical dilemmas and testing out new therapeutic techniques are a few other ways a safe and trusting supervisory relationship can be used, to the advantage of both supervisee and their clients.
In what other ways do you use your supervision space? Leave your comments below!
Feel free to share it with your colleagues, supervisees, supervisors and others.
The more we talk about what supervision should be about, what it should cover, and how it should support therapists in their private practice, the better equipped we all will be, and we will provide the a better service to our clients