Supervision and Professional Development groups

New Supervision/Professional Development Group start ing in December 2017

I am starting a new ongoing professional development group combined with group supervision in December 2017. It will run every two months on Saturdays'. This is a sought after opportunity to further develop your skills and enhance your practise in a stimulating and safe environment. The programme will cover:
The skills of an integrative psychotherapy including the art of effective inquiry, further developing the art of attunement, understanding and integrating problems in attachment, ruptures and repairs in the therapeutic allegiance.

Almost full
Please enquire early about new group starting in September2017

A large part of my work is as a supervisor and trainer of trained and trainee counsellors. I provide supervision to therapists, psychologists and counsellors working in colleges; universities; voluntary agencies and the NHS. I supervise work involving both adults and young people in specialist and generic services. I have been providing supervision and training for more than 16 years and am part of the Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University Supervisor's network. I gained a Certificate in 1998 with Robin Shohet. I then trained further for a Diploma in Casework Supervision in 2004.

How I work:

I offer both group and individual supervision usually for 1.5-2 hours per month or more depending on your caseload. I use a humanistic approach based on the work by Robin Shohet and Peter Hawkins called the Seven Eyed Model as well as the Cyclical Model by Steve Page and Val Wosket.

It might help to read more about my philosophy to give you an idea of how my thinking informs my practise as a supervisor.

Philosophy of Supervision


Overview
Supervision is a dynamic working allegiance between the supervisor and the supervisee. The supervisor will have gained much more expertise and is trained extensively in the field of therapy and supervision to provide a safe and reflective space within which the supervisee can focus on his/her clients and develop themselves as a therapist.

Process

In the supervisory space, characterised by involvement and attuned support, the client's welfare is focal. Through careful, honest reflection upon the relational process with the client, therapeutic stuck points can be explored and freed up. Equally the supervisor may carefully analyse transactions and interventions to understand more fully the context of the co created therapeutic relationship. As the supervisee uncovers disowned thoughts and feelings in relation to the client work, she or he is freer to see the client as a whole and respond flexibly to the therapeutic task. The aim of reflective work is to support the supervisee to move closer to her client’s experience and key into the unconscious process underpinning the dynamic.

A relational based supervision

The supervisor will use the supervisory relationship to work through any transferential issues and be attentive to the parallel process. This can provide vital data for understanding missing relational and developmental needs within the client. As this can be both challenging and uncomfortable, the supervisory relationship needs to be strong and containing with non judgment and acceptance as its basic tenant. The supervisor needs to be attuned to the learning needs and styles of the supervisee and demonstrate awareness of how many people have been shamed in their learning. Safety enables the supervisee to take risks, work at their growing edge and bring light to the shadows where ‘mistakes’ can be explored and understood.

Needs of the supervisee and Contractual necessity

Working with supervisee’s process like this is sometimes described as meta-therapy. That is the therapeutic process of the supervisee - in the supervision - in the service of the client work. This needs to be clearly contracted and done in the context of the supervisee having their own therapy where needed. Forming clear contracts with supervisees, as well as producing more satisfaction and better outcomes, also serves as a model of good practise for the supervisee with their clients. (Hawkins P and Shohet R. 2000)

Similarly good modelling is demonstrated through the use of self awareness in the supervisor. It creates a meta-perspective in the supervision where the supervisor can own her own thoughts; body sensations; feelings and fantasies to connect with material that may be out of awareness in the therapy. From this awareness creative methods emerge in the supervisory work.

When stuck points are worked through I think of them in Kohut’s (1984) terms as ‘empathic failures’ or ‘ruptures in the therapeutic allegiance’ Safran(1993). I draw on the practise and theory of a contact orientated relational therapy and inter-subjective theorists such as Richard Erskine(1997), David Wallin(2007) and Safran(1993). I resonate philosophically with the theories of missed relational needs, Richard Erskine(1997) and the use of inquiry, attunement and involvement within a therapy that seeks to make contact wherever the client is most open. That may be through their thinking; their dreams and fantasies; their body ; their behaviour or their feelings and the supervisor will pay attention to this to enable the counsellor to be sensitive and attune equally to their own contact style This serves to enhance sensitivity to the client's needs and styles.

Supervision will be enhanced through drawing on various relevant theory and research and thoughtful discussion as to how it integrates into practise. This will benefit the ways the supervisee thinks and feels about the client and subsequently behaves and intervenes with his/her client.


Self Care and Ethical Practise

The ambiance of supervision works when it fosters self support and self care in the supervisee. The supervisory relationship is beneficial when it is warm and validating and helping him or her to address their restorative needs. At times this might mean reducing case loads or withdrawing from practise. This, amongst others factors such as good training and understanding of ethical practise, means counsellor self care will go a long way towards protection of the client.

The supervisor will keep in mind at all times the broader framework for ethical practise and will be a vital sounding post for dilemmas and concerns arising or evoked in the work with the client. In this sense the supervisor needs to hold the overall managerial structure for the counsellor’s practise, at times giving instruction and education to maintain the wellbeing and safety of the client.

The client’s welfare as fore front may often evoke philosophical questions in the supervisor. Thoughts such as does the supervisor support mediocre work in order to enhance the therapist’s confidence versus challenging the counsellor to reach for increased competence? Similarly is it preferable to engage the supervisee in their own process to resolve intra-personal and inter-personal conflicts that may interfere with their effective client work or focus on skill enhancement?

For these reasons it is vital that the supervisor has access and makes good use of their own supervision of the supervision. This helps to release blind spots and highlight transference and the countering of transference in the supervision relationship. Through this ‘eagles eye’ of supervision, new awareness can lift the mud from unseen parts of the relationship and bring more flexibility and presence into the work.

References:
Erskine R(1997), ‘Theories and Methods of an integrative Transactional Analysis’ TA Press SanFrancisco
Erskine R and Moursund J (2004)’Integrative Psychotherapy’ the Art and Science of Relationship’ Thomson Books
Gilbert M and Evans K. (2000) ‘Psychotherapy Supervision, an integrative relational approach to psychotherapy supervision’ Open University Press
Hawkins P and Shohet R (2000) Supervision in the helping Professions, 2nd ed. Buckingham; Open University press
Kohurt H. (1984)’How does analysis cure?’ Chicago II: University of Chicago Press
Safran J(1993) ‘The Therapeutic Alliance rupture as transtheoretical phenomenon’ Journal of psychotherapy Integration ,3(1);33-49
Wallin D’ (2007)’Attachment in Psychotherapy’ ,The Guildford Press

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