Those of you who are not in the counselling psychotherapy industry may wonder “what is supervision and why it is necessary?”
People who help people often have a big heart and are very susceptible to ‘burn out’. We take on a lot and have a tendency to carry others and often soak up other peoples’ problems like a sponge. This is not good for us and eventually makes us sick or causes burn out.
One of the safe-guards for counsellors and psychotherapists to this problem, is that we are required by PACFA or ACA the main counselling registration organisations in Australia, to have about 10-12 supervision sessions per year as part of the conditions of our professional registration along with appropriate insurance. Supervision is a safe confidential space where the therapist can off-load, discuss their cases and modalities and what is working well and where they require help or further growth. This provides valuable professional support for us to discuss our cases confidentially within the field. It is unethical to share such information with others as this breaks the code of confidentiality we have with our clients.
Without supervision what do you do with the burdens of responsibility, ethical dilemmas, stress and trauma you have to deal with in your clients’?
Supervision is the place where we can be open and honest about how we are in our own lives and how we are coping with clients. It also becomes part of our own professional and business development and further education in a confidential and professional manner. This provides a healthy safeguard for us and the public and is a legitimate business or professional expense
A supervisor is someone who is professionally trained and experienced in supervision and has their own supervisor to support their wellbeing. How can we help others if we are not in a good space ourselves?
A supervisor’s role is to provide a duty of care to their supervisees and raise issues of ethical dilemmas that may be overlooked, or projections, transference or counter transferences that appear to be operating between therapist and client. The supervisor role is not to become the supervisors therapist, but to suggest where necessary when they need to seek other professional help to resolve any personal issues that may arise through the process. This is because we all have history and are human beings
Supervision is a professional requirement for the professional life for counsellors or psychotherapists. It is a condition of their clinical registration.
In my career I have always sought excellent supervisors and I attribute much of my growth and development to good supervision. My supervisors were compassionate and professional with really good personal boundaries who had the capacity to look at the clients I took with me from other perspectives and draw attention to where I have possibly over stepped boundaries or had blind spots. This has been invaluable to me, my growth and my clients.
As a more experienced counsellor I could have joined peers for much of my supervision and I have done that on more than one occasion, but found the lack of professional objective and compassionate guidance too much of a cost to me and my developing practice. I found that my colleagues lacked the experience and the expertise I wanted and as we were also friends the line between a professional and friendship relationship was a little blurred. So much so that it was difficult to raise more sensitive issues of boundaries and potential blind spots. So I stay with a good professional supervisor.
For those of you who are not professional counsellors, if you are doing this work I suggest you would also greatly benefit from supervision in your growth and to keep you connected and supported in the field of knowledge you have trained in.
Supervision is available with professional supervisors in private sessions and group supervision for a fee. Peer supervision is a choice for those who are more experienced.
I am offering professional supervision groups for Family Constellations, Emotional Mind Integration and a combination of Family Constellations and Emotional Mind Integration. The EMI and Family Constellation group is starting on 10 April 2018 by Zoom online. Cost $30 per session or $200 for 10 sessions starting on the 10 April but continuing on the first Tuesday of every month 7 30-9 am. This may be accepted by ACA and PACFA as your professional supervision.
I have been a supervisor since 2004 providing counselling, Family Constellation and hypnotherapy supervision in personal and group sessions.
I have a vision of a time when many groups in society have a similar system of mentorship. A place where they can offload, seek support, confidential guidance and mentoring as they grow in their position as a doctor, dentist, psychiatrist, teacher, nurse, lawyer, business professional and many other fields, to reduce stress and the occurrence of mental health issues around the world, so that we can increase support and connection and raise awareness of ethics to the benefit of us all..
Yildiz is a Brisbane psychotherapist, clinical hypnotherapist, family constellations facilitator a