The supervisory journey
Supervision is a valued part of self development when working in the health profession. It enables the supervisee to be ethically content, be instilled with confidence in their abilities, and allows compassion and creativity to be instilled to allow the therapist to grow professionally.
To do this there are three areas of development covered in sessions: formative, restorative and normative.
Formative is a word that refers to education; in this case we are referring to the education of the therapist. The CPD bit, if you like that, looks at developing the therapist's skills and making sure they have the tools to help their clients. This section can also be reflective, looking at client work already undertaken and also identifying any further training that you need to do to make you feel confident. Supervisors can also advise on how to develop businesses and offer support when taking those decisions to help you making your own profitable practice.
Restorative functions are support for the therapist. This can be emotional support, as when you are caring for others it is sometimes very easy to forget yourself. It is this part that ensures that you have the coping mechanisms in place to look after yourself, while praising your judgement and validating your practice, giving you even more confidence in your abilities.
Normative is the safety part of the supervision process, which I think most people are aware of when they think of clinical supervision. This is to ensure both you and your client's safety, as defined in professional bodies ethical guidelines and, moreover, within the eyes of the law.
There are different ways to be supervised:
- Face to face: where you would meet at your supervisor's practices and talk through issues face to face
- Telephone: a conversation held over the phone
- Online Supervision: having supervision via Skype / face time or other online application
- Group Supervision: like face to face, but you would be meeting with other supervisees and working in a group situation.
Each mode has its own advantages and disadvantages, so I would investigate each option carefully and find the one that is right for you. As well as selecting the form of supervision for you it is important to select the right supervisor for you; just like a client, you need to have a great rapport to get the best from your supervisor. I would not be here today if it were not for the excellent supervision I have had, and continue to have to this day.
I wish you all the best of luck on your supervisory journeys.
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