Why do counsellors and psychotherapists have supervision?

We encounter the whole range of clients’ emotional experiences, but most likely we are faced with their raw, vulnerable and difficult to tolerate emotions and thoughts. We are there to help them hold these difficult experiences, and hopefully transform and heal them, but inevitably we are also affected by them, not only as therapists but also as human beings. This is in part because we bring our own personal history and therefore our own wounds to the therapeutic relationship. Even if we have been in therapy ourselves, we are imperfect human beings, and always in the process of becoming, just like everyone. If we do not attend to this, we can be in danger of depletion or burn-out. Supervision enables us to reflect on our work with our clients, and especially on the therapeutic relationship. In the supportive and appropriately challenging container of the supervisory relationship, we are enabled to distinguish what is ours from what is the client’s, become clear about the relational dynamics that are occurring, explore possible interventions and identify our growing edge as a helping professional. Supervision can also help us ensure that our self-care is adequate, and that we are providing the highest standards of care to our clients.

My approach to supervision

As well as being trained in integrative psychotherapy, the supervision model I am trained in is Hawkins & Shohet’s 7-eyed model.

Briefly, this encompasses the following dimensions for exploration:

  • Focus on the client
  • Focus on interventions used by the therapist
  • Focus on the client-therapist relationship
  • Focus on the therapist’s process
  • Focus on the therapist-supervisor relationship
  • Focus on the supervisor’s process
  • Focus on the wider context

I see the therapeutic relationship as the integrating principle allowing interventions from different perspectives to fit into a coherent whole. I offer supervision one-to-one online and in-person, and small group supervision online.

If you would like to explore the possibility of supervision with me, please email me for a free 20-minute video-call for an initial introduction.