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?
Having a safe space to vent is important in more ways than one.
As therapists, we’ve gone through the process of going to regular therapy as part of our course requirements.
If your course didn’t have this as a requirement, and you’re going to practice without having had personal therapy, I urge you to attend.
It is in your personal process that you have the emotional growth and experience of what your clients might feel sitting in the client’s chair.
It is in therapy that we learn about ourselves, our blind spots, and where we start to separate what’s ours from what are actually other people’s beliefs, emotions, thoughts, reactions.
This, in turn helps us when working with our clients, as we will have worked on ourselves and can both be an example and a grounded and safe person to talk to about very difficult things.
Our therapy is our space to vent.
But it’s not the only space to vent we can use in our profession, where we can’t really talk about what goes on in sessions for ethical, moral and confidentiality reasons.
The supervisory relationship is another opportunity to work through our difficult emotions with clients, and even discuss how our current life situations are affecting us and our work.
It is important to be open and honest with ourselves and our supervisor.
This will bring a new dimension of awareness and growth in our practice that will not only benefit us, but it will cross over to how we work with clients, and in turn impact on them too.
I am a firm believer that things communicate even if we never say a word about them (unconscious to unconscious communication in psychodynamic terms).
Our clients will sense whether we have unfinished business to deal with within ourselves, and how we are dealing with it.
Setting an example for our clients might be our first aim in using therapy and supervision as a safe space to vent, but in the long run it will benefit us as practitioners and as human beings.
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