Supervision and Consultative Support
For counsellors, therapists, helping professionals
I provide clinical supervision and consultative support for counsellors, therapists and other helping professionals working within organisations or in independent practice. My approach is collaborative, and integrates some classic ‘models’ of supervision, experience and best practice.
Experience and trainingWith a prior background of organisational consultancy in the ‘not for profit’ sector – especially Arts, NHS, Local Authority – I have been working as a counselling supervisor since 2002, initially for Cruse Bereavement Care. I now provide supervision for independent counselling & psychotherapy practitioners, and for other Bristol based agencies and organisations. My supervision includes working both with individuals, 1:1 and groups, tailoring as appropriate for each supervisee or group. With experience as a counselling trainer, I have regularly provided supervision for students in training.
My initial training in counselling supervision was via a certificate level course with Cruse Bereavement Care in 2002. I added to this substantially in 2003/4 by attending two Masters level modules at the University of Bristol in individual, and creative group supervision respectively. Currently I am a tutor for Severn Talking Therapy providing training for their Diploma in Counselling Supervision www.severntalkingtherapy.co.uk/.
My approach to supervisionI agree with those who advocate that supervision is a profession of its own, distinctly different from any of the talking therapies, even though [heart] it draws on some of the same skill sets. Conversely I believe that profession based supervision adds a quality of depth, context and support not available from other professionals, and as a counselling / psychotherapeutic supervisor I bring both personal and professional understanding and perceptiveness, which draw on my own experience, learning and networks, with the aim of enhancing the work and wellbeing of counselling supervisees. I have developed an integrative relational approach to my supervision, drawing on some of the main approaches and models for supervision, and including the concept of 'boundlessness' as promoted by Nick Totton.
Supervision is a contract and process between peers – ‘super’ allows us to take overview and perspective. Words I would use to describe supervision include, collaborative, facilitative, supportive, collegial, nurturing, consultative, extending, challenging, authentic, restoring, transformative; I aim to provide supervision that touches all of these aspects. Above all, supervision involves person to person contact (even if over the telephone), which I think is so important – working as a therapist or in the helping professions can be lonely and demanding work.
My supervision approach draws on my relational stance to therapy. Just as with counselling and psychotherapy, the effectiveness of the supervision contract is dependent on the quality of the supervisory relationship. And just as with therapy, I apply principles of here and now relational process to the supervisory consultative enterprise.
The pitch of the supervision very much depends on the needs and developmental stage of supervisees. With experienced therapists I would expect us to be working at the facilitative and consultative end of the spectrum, and with less experienced therapists I would probably lean more towards a confidence building and possibly teaching role.
My supervision style is integrative and collaborative. I follow and blend a number of classic task and process models of supervision, and I am especially influenced by the ‘Seven Eye’ model put forward by Hawkins and Shohet (4th ed 2012). Themes for me are: transformative moments, your context, and the restorative, normative and formative principles of supervision (Inskipp & Proctor). I like collaboratively fostering the 4 Cs: competence, confidence, compassion, creativity (Proctor 2000).
Individual or Group?I work with both types of supervisory formats. Individual supervision is more common because it most immediately meets the professional and personal needs of supervision, and can be an easier environment for many people. In the right circumstances, I am a keen advocate of group supervision, as it brings opportunities for shared learning, access to wider resources, different opportunities for creativity, and accessing of process dynamics. Conversely, there are significant disadvantages with respect to individual attention for supervisees and case presentation. Ideally I would advocate that each practitioner has regular access to both individual and group supervision. Often group supervision takes place in a peer format, partly because this can be very effective, enhances responsibility and autonomy, and reduces costs; the downside is that it can be collusive. Many people find groups extremely difficult – albeit useful and with transformative potential, so for some situations and times in your professional journey, I would advocate being part of a facilitated supervision group; I have recently come back to this myself and find I am more able to enjoy and benefit from the space of ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.
Location and FeesSupervision can either be within an organizational setting and venue, or else I work from home, just south of Bristol, in a tranquil green setting.
Fees: For individual supervision, I usually charge £50 per hour (or £70 for 90min supervision). For groups, fees are negotiated separately depending on the numbers involved, travel etc
ContactIf you would like further information or to discuss your supervision needs, please contact me.
I provide supervision for therapists in North Somerset, accessible to both Bristol and towns in North Somerset and BANES.