All therapists benefit from supervision, and in the counselling and psychotherapy professions it is a mandatory requirement to maintain best practice standards as a member of any peak body.
For many professionals involved in not just mental health but also any healing arts it can be difficult at times to maintain objectivity and perspective with clients. Burnout and vicarious trauma are common in a field where people are regularly giving compassionate energy to others on a routine basis. Supervision therefore is an opportunity for the therapist to gain the support they need in order to provide a service which is ethically sound and appropriately serves the duty of care a therapist is legally obliged to provide. It’s a chance for the therapist to “refill their cup”, reflect on their own self care, their professional development and to gain insight into what they may not be seeing or understanding about their interaction with clients.
The space I facilitate is from a model of self reflectiveness with a baseline of humanistic, Rogerian values. This means that empathy, authenticity and unconditional positive regard – core counselling conditions, are used as a framework to explore whatever is coming up in supervision. I see my supervisees like I see my clients – holistically. This means that they are human beings with thoughts, feelings, sensations and intuitions also existing in an environment or context. Moreover, that all these elements are intimately interconnected. My philosophical baseline is psychodynamic, with an emphasis on somatic experiencing and processing. I start and end every supervision session with a felt sense exercise to ground and connect us, and I often refer back to the felt sense throughout the session to explore issues more deeply.
Areas that I explore in supervision include (in no particular ranking):
– Supervisees who may feel “stuck” with a client, needing input into what they are missing or might not be seeing in their case conceptualisation.
– Projection, transference and counter-transference. The ‘parallel process’ where supervisees present like their clients do. Crucially I work with supervisees to do processes to clear the transference where necessary and to redirect this energy into their work with the client.
– Assistance with any ethical engagement issues therapists might be encountering such as boundaries, mandatory reporting, cultural or identity considerations, readiness to practice.
– ‘Self as therapist’ and issues pertaining to professional identity such as career trajectory, business building.
– How the supervisee’s personal life may be interacting/impacting on therapeutic work with clients and vice versa. Work is done to identify, normalise and work towards balance in this area.
I have been working in the supervision space since qualifying in 2016 and am a member of the Australian Counselling Association College of Supervisors. In addition to seeing supervisees in my private practice, I currently work for a higher education provider in Melbourne to provide clinical supervision to students on placement.
I provide individual supervision by appointment. My online (zoom) rate is $85 per hour. To find out more, contact me through here.