My Philosophy of Supervision
Supervision is a special and important part of the practice of psychology. Ideally, it ensures that therapists are adhering to the highest ethical standards, using up-to-date, evidence-based treatments, getting feedback that encourages self-awareness and self-reflection, and managing their own wellbeing, which is a key ingredient to a person's ability to help others to heal.
I love supervising for many reasons. I learn a lot from the people I supervise through their challenges, their work contexts and their unique perspectives. Supervising, along with professional development keeps my knowledge of research and therapy current, which helps me to offer better therapies to the people on my own caseload. I enjoy watching therapists develop their skills and self confidence, and seeing people emerge from their training as capable and self-possessed professionals. I can summarise my philosophy of supervision as follows:
Supervision should happen in a supportive environment that feels safe enough for supervisees to be honest about their difficulties. As a supervisor, I aim to establish a comfortable, private space for supervisees to explore struggles openly, knowing that they will be understood and assisted.
Learning takes place when we are challenged, and supervision should provide challenges to supervisees. Through role plays, case discussions, readings and training, supervision should stretch supervisees to master new skills and develop new knowledge and perspectives, and to become reflective about themselves in their psychological practice. When supervising, I try to keep the level of challenge at the right level that will encourage supervisees to grow and thrive.
Finding a Good Fit
Different people need different things at different times. The supervisory relationship is a professional one, but an intimate one at the same time. It is important that the supervisor's knowledge and style are appropriate to the supervisee's current needs, and this should be evaluated regularly. It is usually healthy for supervisees to eventually outgrow their supervisor, and to evolve to seek a new relationship with someone with a different style or skill set.