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
Missed my previous posts?
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Are you starting out in private practice?
Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?
In this post, I want to talk about how a big part of your supervision time should focus on you – the supervisee.
As therapists, we tend to put our personal feelings, beliefs, thoughts, and other stuff, on the side during the therapy hour.
Our focus is on what the client brings to the session and how we can best help them through what they might be going through.
Being a therapist doesn’t mean we become superhuman or immune to hardship in our personal lives.
It also doesn’t mean that because of our extensive training and expertise, we can easily detach from client material – strong emotions, strong stories…
We need a space to go and process all these things that come up and stay with us for a while after the session is over.
I’m talking about picking up projective identifications, transference, counter transference, and just being human about how our clients’ life circumstances can and will affect us.
There are limited places where we can talk about ourselves in the context of private practice and its impact on us as human beings (personal therapy, supervision).
In supervision, therefore it’s our turn to put ourselves on the forefront and have some time focusing on ourselves and our practice.
It is our turn to be held and contained, to have space to vent, to self-care, to process what went on in our sessions, to reassess and regroup, to work through what’s our stuff and what’s our clients’ stuff, to raise our self-awareness, and more.
Through focusing on the supervisee, in a way we are also focusing on the client.
If the counsellor’s mind and wellbeing is in the right place and being prioritised, then it is more likely that the counsellor can look after their clients’ mental health and wellbeing the best way possible.
It also helps the counsellor to work to a high standard, in a professional and ethical way.
Are you feeling prioritised in supervision? Are you putting yourself first in supervision?
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