Paula and Lester offer individual and group supervision that is relevant to the counsellors’ level of experience and development. Our intention is to be supportive whilst encouraging supervisees to examine their work, think for themselves and develop awareness of and trust in their own experiencing. It is essential that supervisees feel comfortable enough with their supervisor or within a supervision group to be self reflective and to explore their client work openly.
Collaborative model of supervision
Supervisor and supervisee(s) engage together to understand and to explore supervisory material such as the relationship between counsellor and client, ethical issues and the supervisee(s) personal and professional development. This is a joint process and it is understood that each person has something important to bring to the enquiry, for example professional experience, intuition, cognitive understanding, knowledge, wisdom and relationship with the client. Paula and Lester find that collaborative supervision is most effective when there is a trusting, warm and respectful relationship between supervisor and supervisee(s). We carefully consider any feedback from supervisees and welcome discussion.
Paula and Lester explain that they are available to discuss supervisory matters between sessions when necessary and provide contact details.
Individual one to one Supervision - The first session is an opportunity to get to know each other, to check that we wish to continue working together and to discuss any expectations and concerns regarding supervision. Areas of importance include the level of confidentiality, frequency, length and cost of sessions.
Group Supervision - Often group supervision is within a counselling placement or a work environment although arrangements can be made for Paula or Lester to supervise groups on a private basis. During first sessions we meet and introduce ourselves, Areas of discussion are likely to include confidentiality, requirements of the organisation, how to use and divide the time available and participants’ counselling approaches. Supervisees may have various therapeutic approaches. Paula and Lester are person-centred practitioners with knowledge of and respect for other perspectives. Our intention is to facilitate supervisees to work beneficially and ethically according to their own approach.
What do we talk about during Supervision?
Supervisees express and explore their worries, difficulties, irritations and uncertainties. They may share their pleasure in a clients’ process of change and signs of healing. We recognise the value of supervisees’ work.
Supervisees talk about what happened in a counselling session and explore any area that seems to be important or significant. We consider supervisees’ perceptions and experiences of their clients and their clients’ material. We try to understand issues empathically from the client’s point of view.
We explore supervisees’ therapeutic relationships. Areas include the effects of
gender upon a counselling relationship, power dynamics between the helper and the helped, levels of openness between counsellor and client and whether there is a sense of connection or distance between them.
We work with anything that is blocking a supervisee from being fully present with clients and from being accepting, empathic and genuine. Examples are personal issues, irritation with a client (eg for missing sessions), difficult client material (eg abuse), feeling afraid or uncomfortable with a client, race, religious and cultural differences between counsellor and client, sexual attraction and many more issues.
We consider appropriate boundaries and boundary issues in counselling and supervisory relationships.
We look at therapeutic responses and interventions, what to say and whether or not to take a risk.
We explore theoretical understandings and link theory to practice
We ensure that the supervisee is working ethically and meeting client needs. We refer to the BACP Code of Ethics as necessary. Dilemmas can occur and we carefully consider what is most therapeutic and ethical in these situations.
In one to one supervision we have honest discussion regarding the relationship between supervisee and supervisor as necessary. In group supervision it may also be important to explore group dynamics and relationships and to work together with any conflicts that occur. We may work with current issues within a supervisees’ counselling course, counselling placement or working environment.
Personal and Professional Development
Paula and Lester are concerned with facilitating supervisees’ personal and professional development and view the former as being fundamental to the latter, for example developing an empathic, accepting and genuine way of being and developing trust in one’s perceptions and intuition. We are interested in supporting supervisees’ to become aware of their personal experiencing within client relationships (congruence). This allows supervisees to share their insights with clients when therapeutic and to work with clients at relational depth (relational connection). Another aspect of professional development is looking at what is useful for supervisees in terms of reading and further training.