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What to Expect From Supervision – Theoretical Grounding

new supervision blog post banner


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?

Catch up here:

Containment and Holding

Reflective Practice

Autonomous Practice


Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Are you starting out in private practice?

Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?

To book supervision with me, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to set up an initial meeting.

 

 

 


In this post, I want to talk about the importance of having a supervisor with a sound theoretical grounding.

Supervisors should have a sound theoretical grounding when providing supervision services.

What this means might vary from professional to professional, but gaining knowledge is important by any means (courses, reading books, cpd…)


I completed my diploma in supervision in 2015, and it gave me lots of food for thought, but most importantly it gave me the theoretical knowledge, skills and grounding from which to work with my supervisees.

1

I developed a model of working that I feel covers all the areas – practical such as contracting, psychological such as providing a safe space to work through clinical work, ethical and boundary issues, and more.

I don’t think I would be as confident in supervising practitioners if I didn’t have this base knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that it is possible to work without having gone through a supervision course, but I am a firm believer in having knowledge behind me to be able to offer the best service to my supervisees, which will in turn impact on the clients they see.


Learning theory is important in practice because it allows us to get a good perspective of the work we do and all the areas that we need to pay attention to in order to do our work well, within ethical boundaries, and to a high standard.


Here are a few things your supervisor should know when working with you:

  • awareness of all the areas involved in client work
    • relationship between the client and the therapist
    • relationship between supervisor and therapist
    • the parallel process between therapy and supervision sessions
    • the client’s life context 3
    • the supervisee’s work context
    • the responsibilities and roles of each party involved – client, therapist, supervisor
  • awareness of the stage of development of the supervisee, so the supervisor can provide appropriate support at that particular level and adjust as the supervisee moves from trainee to autonomous
  • have clear systems and boundaries around the supervisory relationship in itself, including
    • contracting and reviewing
    • dealing with issues as they arise
    • providing a safe space for the supervisee to be challenged and to reflect, within ethical and professional boundaries
  • provide support in these areas
    • practical and educational
    • emotional, psychological
    • ethical and professional

4Here are a few things that you will gain from supervision when your supervisor has a sound theoretical grounding:

  • space to review theoretical concepts learned and how to put them into practice
  • develop your own way of working within your chosen theoretical modality, with an opportunity to add skills from other modalities to your toolkit
  • to learn how to communicate better in regards to issues arising in the sessions with clients, but also in supervision sessions
  • it will also improve your professional skills,
  • and more…

All of these are important for your private practice.

Are you getting these from your current supervision arrangements? 


5Follow this link for a video describing this process.

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

 


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

 

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What to expect from supervision – Autonomous Practice

new supervision blog post banner


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.


Missed my previous posts?

Catch up here: Containment and Holding, and Reflective Practice


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.


Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Click here to visit my main supervision page.

Are you starting out in private practice?

Are you an experienced therapist looking for a new supervisory relationship?

To book supervision with me, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to set up an initial meeting.

 


In this post, I want to talk about developing an autonomous practice as therapists gain more experience, and how this evolves in the supervision setting.


1Do you remember – or are you there now – the first few client sessions, and how terrifying it felt? Am sure your first sessions went better than you remember or expected them to go.

It is not unusual to get “impostor syndrome” – that feeling that we are doing a job that we are really not qualified to do; or we feel we are not good enough to be helping someone with their deepest, darkest, most difficult struggles.

But the fact is, we have worked hard in getting the training we need to be able to do this job we call therapy. So we are not impostors, we are well equipped to do the job.


Supervision is a place where we can build this confidence, and move away from feeling like an “impostor” to feeling confident and capable of helping people in their time of distress.

When we first start off in our placements, we need a lot of support from our supervisor.

2We might be focusing in sessions on how to keep ourselves grounded, even in light of very distressing emotions and conversations. This might take all our energy at first.

Our supervisor’s job here will be to contain and hold us, helping us think about what is going on for us in sessions, and guiding us in what might be the best intervention for this particular client.

In due course, we will start to “let go” of our supervisors hand a bit more, trusting ourselves more and more as we see more clients and get more experience.

Slowly, we are becoming more confident and secure in who we are becoming as therapists. Developing our own identity as professionals.

We don’t need our supervisor to tell us what interventions to use or when.

We might now need to start thinking more about why we chose certain interventions and what effect this has had in the therapeutic relationship and the client.

3

Reflective practice deepens and autonomy is emerging.

The supervisory relationship must change accordingly in order for autonomy to further develop.


Move forward a few years, you are now in private practice.

What you need now looks very different to what you needed during those first sessions.

A more collegiate, collaborative relationship forms with your supervisor.


You might need a new supervisor to break that link from trainee to fully qualified, or your supervisor might just get it and you stay with them (I speak from experience!)


A more collegiate relationship means that your supervisor is in a position to still contain and hold when needed, but will most likely challenge you a bit more in regards to critical thinking and reflecting about your work, how you are keeping yourself up to date with CPD and other training, as well as how you are keeping safe in regards to ethics and professional boundaries with clients.

4Of course, all of these should also happen when we start in placement, but these become more obvious as we let go of depending 90-100% on our supervisor for support with interventions and the basics, to depending more on our knowledge and experience and using the supervision space for more in-depth work.

Autonomy develops further when we feel confident in our work but still rely on an objective observer’s – our supervisor’s – outlook on what we are communicating about our client sessions and what this brings up in us.

We are still human, we still “miss” the nuances due to being “in” the therapeutic relationship with our client, and the keen eye of a supervisor is great for clearing up blind spots or clarifying aspects of the relationship with the client that will help us as therapists and therefore help our clients.


5Follow this link for a video describing this process.

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!


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Join 4,391 other followers

What to expect from supervision – Containment and Holding

new supervision blog post banner


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.


In this post, I want to talk about Containment and Holding in the supervision setting.


Disclaimer!


1


Containment and Holding are usually linked more to the therapy process. In this context, it means that the therapist is there to support the client through difficult emotions, feelings and situations.

Staying calm, strong and professional amongst their client’s storm is key for the therapist, as this will help the client explore his/her issues without worrying about falling apart — the therapist is there to help.

The way the therapist helps might vary – the therapist might fill in gaps by providing information about how they feel when the client tells their story, or ask questions about how the client feels in that moment (it all depends on the therapist’s modality); or the therapist might allow some silence to process the things that are coming up for their client.

Another way might be the therapist, who might see the problem more clearly as an outsider to it, is able to provide deeper understanding of the situation for the client, allowing space to process and develop a new way of thinking about it all. This takes time of course.

In a similar way, the therapist will need containment and holding in their supervision session.

Why is that?


2


Dealing with strong emotions and difficult situations that our clients bring, can take it’s toll or at least have a small impact on the therapist’s life.

Therefore, the therapist needs a safe space to go through a smilar “parallel” process, to regroup, re-energise and gain some further perspective on what happened in the session, what went on for the client and what went on for the therapist themselves.

This is important as it will help pin-point “blind spots” in the relationship with this client, or simply allow for space to process their own emotions and thoughts about this client, which leads to the therapist being able to better help the client in the next session.

Supervision is so important in this respect.

I find that sharing the emotional and psychological load is sometimes enough, especially after a particularly difficult session.

I find that when my supervisor listens to me, I feel contained and held by them, and able to have “a moment” while I regroup and while we work together into making sense of what went on for everyone in the session.

This “moment” remains in the supervision session, but it is important to process it in order to be able to be present, calm, strong and professional with our clients in their time of need.


3


Follow this link for a video describing this process.

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!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

What to expect from supervision – space for reflective practice

new supervision blog post banner


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.

1

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.


 

In this post, I want to talk about Reflective practice.


Gibbs reflective cycle theory is a great theory to break down your thinking and reflecting process down into manageable steps.

Your supervisor should be able to help you with this.

 


2

Here are the steps and how to make the most out of each one


  1. How did the situation make you feel?
    • Reflecting on what emotions the situation with your client brought up for you is important to process and work through them, so you can continue working and offering your client the best therapy service possible.
  2. What did the situation make you think about?
    • Reflecting on the situation with your client will also allow you to think about future situations and how you will handle them if anything similar were to arise again.
    • 3It might also make you think about gaps in knowledge which you can remedy by reading, or attending webinars or seminars on the topic.
  3. Can you see the positives among the negatives?
    • Every situation has positives, and hopefully this one does as well. Weighing the positives amongst the negatives will allow you to grow through the difficulties that present themselves when working as a therapist, and will therefore help you build resilience and confidence with a wider variety of issues.
  4. Reflect on what you got out of the three steps above: are things clearer now?
        • What can you see now that wasn’t obvious before you processed your thoughts and feelings on the situation and your client?4

       

    1. is there anything you could have done differently?
      • this is a “devil’s advocate” question that sometimes grates on me. So if it grated on you, you’re in good company!
      • Sometimes there is absolutely nothing we could have done differently.
      • But at the time what we did might not be the worst thing we could have done. It is what we had available to do at the time, and it was good enough, especially if it didn’t harm the client or the relationship in any way.
      • You can always go back and talk to the client about what happened, and try offering a solution the next time around. The great thing about therapy is we don’t have to have all the solutions, both you and your client need to dig deep into the client’s resources and find them together.
    2. what else could you have done?5
      • Hopefully from your reflections, you can now confidently answer this question, and you are taking steps to fill any gaps in knowledge that might have become aparent. You don’t have to know everything, nobody does!
    3. what will you do next time?
      • Lots of tools and skills should have been developed or at least you would have been made aware of how to use them for the next session with this client and for future sessions with other clients.

 

 


6

Follow this link for a video describing this process.

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!


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4,391 other followers

5 more ways in which supervision is important (videos)

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


Dear readers,

This week is week 3 of #supervisionwithkarin month.

Am really enjoying the interactions over at Twitter, InstagramLinkedInFacebookYoutube and Pinterest.

Come and join in the conversation! 


In this week’s post, I’d like to leave you with 5 more Storyboard Videos about reasons why supervision is important for those in Private Practice.

The following videos refer to the following isues that can be developed and worked on in Supervision:

  1. Supervision is important for your professional development and the growth of your practice, but it is also helpful – alongside personal therapy – for personal development.
  2. Supervision helps us work to a safe standard by keeping us accountable and working within an ethial framwork.
  3. Reflective practice is important – learning from our successes but also from our mistakes or missed opportunities helps us grow as practitioners and therefore help our clients more effectively.
  4. The supervisor’s role is to challenge their supervisees in a way that supports rather than hinders their self-confidence and ability to work with their clients, and to talk to their supervisor without censoring themselves.
  5. Similarly to point number 1, supervision is a safe space to process personal feelings and thoughts that might have been brought up by client sessions.

For more information on supervision with me – face to face and online – visit my Supervision Pages here.



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Supervision: 5 ways in which it is important (videos)

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


Dear readers,

This week is week 2 of #supervisionwithkarin month. It is going really well over at Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest. Come and join in the conversation! 


In this week’s post, I’d like to leave you with 5 Storyboard Videos about reasons why supervision is important for those in Private Practice.

The following videos refer to the following isues that can be developed and worked on in Supervision:

  • Autonomous practice – a supervisee will develop through time
  • Boundaries – learning how to set and keep them
  • Containment and Holding the supervisee
  • How to tackle the isolating nature of confidentiality in Counselling
  • Focusing on the supervisee is important

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Join 4,391 other followers


Questions or comments? Leave a message below.


Supervision Month!

#supervisionwithkarin (2)


www.k-brauner-counselling.co.uk/clinical-supervision


Welcome to today’s blog post!

This month, I’m going to be offering lots of content on supervision, in the form of videos and informative posts via my social media platforms throughout the week, and on Mondays I will bring you some of what to expect me to be talking about and posting.

The topics will be on a variety of supervision issues, such as what counsellors and psychotherapists need to know and be putting in place in their practice as therapists and supervisors.

I will also be presenting my supervision model, which I created when I was training and underpins and informs my supervision practice.


I will resume with my In Therapy posts in due course. Do have a look at my archive to catch up if you haven’t read them. There’s a lot on a variety of topics: self-care, anxiety, autism spectrum, and more!


I will be posting quite a few times during the day on Twitter, once or twice on Facebook and LinkedIn, and once a week on Instagram and Pinterest.

Today, I’d like to leave you with my first video, introducing the month of June as Supervision month!


Help me get this hashtag catching on:

#supervisionwithkarin 


Looking forward to hearing your comments and engaging with you on Social media and also  via my website and blog.



www.k-brauner-counselling.co.uk/clinical-supervision


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In Supervision: Ethics and Professional Standards- Our Commitment to our clients (part 3)

In Supervision


Welcome to this week’s instalment of In Supervision, where I will wrap up our commitments to clients’ mini-series.

Next week I’ll continue with the values and principles as stated in the Ethical framework, focusing on the ones I find the most important for my practice.


1


Maintaining integrity, accountability and candour are major aspects of the counsellor’s commitment to their clients, to themselves and to the profession.

Counsellors should be as transparent about the work they do as possible.

This starts with a clear contract – and website – that lists all the boundaries and terms of the therapeutic relationship, such as:

  • Fees and how to pay them
  • Cancellation policies
  • Contact outside sessions
  • How the counsellor works
  • What to expect
  • And more…

You can have a look at my contract here

(Note: I’m currently updating it to meet the new GDPR legislation due in May 2018).


If the therapist doesn’t feel they can work with a particular client, they should be clear about this within themselves and with their supervisor, and find the best way to communicate this to the client and refer them on to someone that can help them better.

It is then the therapist’s responsibility to update their knowledge so next time they can see clients with similar issues.


2


If a client is doing well in therapy and the counsellor doesn’t feel they need it anymore, it is their responsibility to explore this with the client – keeping someone in therapy because they are paying and not saying they want to end is not being ethical.

Some clients don’t realise that it’s their right to end therapy at any point – even when it’s stated in the contract and discussed in the first session – or some of their presenting issues might mean they are not able to voice the need to end.

They might be anxious about it or fear of letting the therapist down, for example.

It is the counsellor’s duty of care to explore all these issues and more with the client, to ensure that therapy is doing what it’s meant to do – to help and not to make hurt or worse.


I find that my blog, which I started last August (2017) really helps with being honest and presenting myself to clients and potential clients as transparently as possible.

They can read about how I work and what therapy will be and feel like with me.

Blogging opens so many doors for therapists, and as good as it is, we have to be aware of who is reading it and how they will be affected. Too much self-disclosure might be bad for our practice – there are places for us to work through our own issues.


4


That leads me to the next point – being honest with ourselves about our need to dip back into therapy is important, because it allows us to “top up” our emotional and psychological needs through our own therapy.


*** I have written a blog post about what to do when your therapist tells you they are also in therapy *** 


Clients are sometimes surprised that I tell them I have my own therapist, but they soon realise that apart from it benefiting me, it benefits them too, and it models that there is no shame in saying you’re attending therapy.

I also let them know about supervision and how that is also for the benefit of their therapy and therapist.


Being human has been something clients have benefited from.

I am not your stereotypical psychodynamic counsellor with a blank screen posture.

I talk a lot, I ask questions, I interact and challenge my clients in a gentle way so they can work through their issues.

I acknowledge to them I’m a bit tired or getting better from a cold, I might get a tear in my eye from listening to their story or get really angry on their behalf.

All of this helps the therapeutic process, and if it doesn’t help then clients are good at telling me.


Honesty goes both ways in therapy!


Being accountable means a lot of things.

The first thing that comes to my mind is supervision.

 

Supervision is a space where we can be accountable for the work we do with clients. Where we keep in check whether we are being objective or being drawn in by the client’s issues and maybe colluding a bit with them. It is where we regroup and find ways to be different with our clients so they get what they came for – support and positive change over time.


part 3 in supervision our commitment to clients


Discussing risk is another important aspect, and one that trainee and those starting off in private practice might find more difficult to address. More experienced counsellors might still struggle with it but find that it comes more naturally for them to ask the questions because of their duty of care and knowledge of how important it has been for past clients. It also safeguards the therapeutic relationship and the therapist’s practice, to say the least.

Asking about potential risks includes asking the client if they’re suicidal, have had any suicidal thoughts or made any plans to end their lives. The answer to this question will lead the therapist to make some ethical and moral choices – do I contact someone for this client so they are not left on their own? Can I keep the client in my office a bit longer if I don’t have another client and will that help or hinder the process? Do I just suggest Samaritans and A&E services if they find themselves struggling between sessions? Do I offer more sessions? What to do next?

These questions can all be asked in supervision and also directly with the client. What do they want to do about their predicament? This can be about suicide risk or other risk – domestic abuse, for example.


Have you got anything to add in regards to being honest and keeping accountable as a therapist and supervisee?

Leave a comment below!


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6

In Supervision: Ethics and Professional Standards- Our Commitment to our clients (part 2)

In Supervision


Welcome to this week’s In supervision post, where I will continue to discuss our commitment to clients in light of the BACP Ethical Framework and how I work in the therapy and supervision space.


Let’s start with respect.

Respect is a basic quality to have in all relationships. It is particularly important in the therapeutic and supervisory profession for a variety of reasons.

Respect for clients will allow me to value the client’s individuality and autonomy, and therefore work towards the main goal of helping them regain the autonomy and self-worth that they might have lost and which might be one reason for them coming to us for therapy.

Respect also means that I will endeavour to keep their data and information they share confidential and private. I make sure my clients know that the only other person I will discuss them with is my supervisor and that this is for their benefit. Unless there are issues that require disclosing such as child protection issues, terrorism related disclosures by the client, amongst others – you can find these in my contract terms.


1


In the therapeutic relationship, the therapist is the expert – in their field, in the counselling skills they’ve trained for – but the expert in themselves can only ever be the client. Therapy is a partnership and the therapist respects the client’s knowledge and expertise of themselves during the process, by asking questions and helping the client gain a different perspective on their story, feelings and thoughts. – of course there is more to it than that, but that’s the starting point.

Respecting the supervisee is also an important aspect – does the supervisee need more help as a trainee or have they moved from trainee to more competent practitioner and therefore need a more collegiate and collaborative type of supervision?

Being treated as a trainee after years of practice will hurt the supervisory relationship and the therapist might feel patronised. The supervisor airing their personal problems with the supervisee or supervisees is unethical and disrespectful at least.

Both supervisors and therapists/supervisees need to keep these things in check so the therapeutic or supervisory relationship doesn’t get contaminated with stuff that has nothing to do with either.

There needs to be an opportunity to discuss this in supervision, and sometimes maybe even with the client if the therapist feels it is plausible and therapeutic to clear the air and move therapy forward.

Respect, Trust and Partnership are very important for a good therapeutic and supervisory relationship to develop and for therapy to be effective.


2


This leads to the next point, which relates to building appropriate relationships with our clients.

The ethical framework brings up the following points:

  • Communicating clearly what clients have a right to expect from us

Clear contracting is important to achieve this, as well as reviewing every so often.

Clients might come in more aware of their issues than thinking about contract terms or what the counsellor told them about cancellation policies and what therapy is and how it works.

Clients come looking for a solution to their distress.

It is our job to keep the work on track in regards to boundaries and our way of working (chosen modality, interventions, regular supervision, pacing to the client’s rhythm, being compassionate and empathetic…).

It is also our job to remind our clients of what they can expect from us and also what they can’t – contact outside of the sessions to be limited to rescheduling, for example.

A tutor of mine said that disappointing our clients early on is a good thing and it will happen at any point whether we like it or not.

Like the mother disappoints their baby when baby realises “mum is busy with other things and I’m not her only concern”, the therapist must do something similar. This is something that will happen unconsciously and without any planning or attempt by the therapist.

Therapists are human – we might say the wrong thing or yawn or forget a session or something else…

This might be a massive blow to the client and need repairing in the session, or this might help the client realise that making mistakes is actually OK.

Either way, communicating clearly will allow for growth, change and healing to happen for the client.


  • Communicating any benefits, costs and commitments that clients may reasonably expect

This links well with what I’ve already said above. Adding to this, some benefits will be the client will be able to speak up to meet their needs and set clear boundaries, the client can ask for letters of support but the therapist will charge for this additional service.

There are so many benefits that clients get from therapy that are only visible once the therapist points them out or after the therapy has progressed and we look back at previous achievements in therapy, or when therapy is over – the therapist might never know how they have impacted the client’s life.


3


  • Respecting the boundaries between our work with clients and what lies outside that work

Boundaries are vital, and we are models for our clients and supervisees in how to keep these in order to safeguard both the therapist, the client and the therapeutic space.

Modelling good boundaries allows our clients to start testing these out in their personal and work relationships.

Contact outside the therapy room should be limited or non-existent. Sometimes this might be impossible – a client might go to a party you are also attending and you find out on the moment that you meet.

Discussing how to address this is important. – If I see you on the street or in town, do I nod at you or pretend you are a stranger and I don’t know you. If we met at a party, would you want me to leave or would you leave or do we just try to not cross each other’s paths. Or is it ok to talk and say hello and carry on like normal.


  • Not exploiting or abusing clients

Telling a client that you think they’re doing OK enough to stop therapy but that they can come back at any point in the future – life changes, things change and creep back up – is much better than keeping a client in therapy because they can’t manage to tell you they want to stop even though they know they can go it alone for now or for good.

This point is a huge topic and I won’t have space to talk about it fully in this post. But there are people out there, counsellors, that are unfortunately unethical and breaching the boundaries of the profession and the ethics of it all.

I do hope that it is a small number.

This is a reality in many businesses and services unfortunately, and all we can do is supervise and work to the best of our abilities, within the boundaries of our profession and to the best interest of our clients.

Whistleblowing is also an option.


  • Listening out for how clients experience our working together

As therapists and supervisors our first aim is to listen and to provide support in a way that our clients feel heard and safe to work through their distress and issues in the best way possible.

We need to be ready to ask whether something we said might have come out wrong and what does the client need from us to repair and move forward.

We also need to be brave enough to challenge and remind of the contract terms when necessary and be flexible also when necessary.


Questions or comments? Leave me a message and I’ll get back to you!


Next week I’m going to talk about these points:

  • How the therapist maintains integrity in their practice
  • And how the therapist can demonstrate accountability and candour.

    I hold a Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby.I offer Clinical Supervision to qualified counsellors, and support during the course for trainee counsellors. (1


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In Supervision: Ethics and Professional Standards- Our Commitment to our clients

In Supervision


Welcome to my new series of In Supervision, where I will spend the next few weeks evaluating the BACP ethical framework and its valuable insights, reviewing it from my individual point of view, gained through my years as a supervisor, supervisee, therapist and client.


(For ease, when I refer to clients, I am referring to both my clients and the clients that my supervisees see, as well as my supervisees).


I will be writing about how I work with supervisees and clients in order to keep my commitments to them and to help clients to regain control of their lives by working through their individual issues and situations.

For more on how I work with specific issues and situations, you might want to check out my In Therapy series.

¡versión en Español también disponible!


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Trust.

Such a short word but in therapy it means so much.

Without trust, there is no way my clients will disclose everything – or anything – that might help them move on and get to where they want to be.

Trust allows our clients to open up, to want to share, and to know that what they share is safe with us. This in turn allows us to work through the more difficult aspects of their current – and past – situation, which is the main purpose of therapy.


The first way in which we can achieve our clients goals, and develop a trusting relationship that allows for change to happen, is to put our clients first.


From the start of our counselling careers, we know that we are doing the course, going to the required therapy and supervision, getting our practice hours in, because we want to make a difference in people’s lives – in our client’s lives.

So, from the beginning of our careers we are focused on the wellbeing of those people we will meet in our counselling rooms, and we work towards getting the training, experience and knowledge necessary to meet our clients’ needs and see effective and long-lasting change in them.


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One way we achieve this goal as therapists and supervisors is by having regular supervision and keeping to our profession’s standards.

These standards include:

  • Working within our competence ­

    • Refer clients we are unsure of being able to help

    • Refer clients who’s situation we don’t know enough about

    • Go to further training to increase our ability to work with particular groups of clients

    • Picking a niche might help to know our boundaries and narrow the type of clients we might want to work with

  • Updating skills and knowledge

    • Continuous professional development is important, for the reasons stated above, but also for keeping up to date with the latest developments and to keep your knowledge fresh and top of mind, which will help choose the best interventions for each individual client at each point in their therapy.

  • Collaborate with colleagues to improve the quality of service to clients

    • I love the time we live in! I have a network of people and groups on social media that I can go to for support – not specific client related stuff, as that would be breaching confidentiality – but more for allowing the lone working to not be so “lonely”.

    • What others are doing to develop their practice and bring the profession to light in society is helpful, and if we all join up together we can help battle issues such as mental health stigma, and support each other at each step of our careers.

  • Self-care – if we look after ourselves, we can then look after others

    • Have a look at my blog series on self-care for some tips, and some ways you can practice self-care without breaking the bank or taking too much time.

  • Keep records in a confidential and accurate manner

    • This is very important and keeping records that keep our clients’ data confidential and safe is going to add to that trust we have discussed above.


I hope you have enjoyed reading this first installlment of the ethics and professional standards series.

I have covered the first two points on the BACP commitment to clients page. I will let you ponder on these and if you have any questions or comments, or anything else you’d like me to discuss in this series, do let me know via the form below.

Click here to read the BACP ethical framework. *** page 1 is covered in this post and in next week’s post *** 


Next week I will be talking about the following topics that relate to our commitments to clients:

  • Showing respect to each individual client
  • How to build appropriate relationships with clients
  • How the therapist maintains integrity in their practice
  • And how the therapist can demonstrate accountability and candour.

I look forward to seeing your comments and feedback.

Feel free to share on social media and with your friends and family.


I hold a Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby.I offer Clinical Supervision to qualified counsellors, and support during the course for trainee counsellors. (1


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