I believe we can help each other. If you're a student, trainee or a qualified professional, clinical supervision is one way we can help each other.
Clinical supervision is recommended by most professional bodies governing health and social care. In clinical psychology, clinical supervision is a prerequisite for practice. As a clinical supervisor I use my training, qualifications and experience of clinical supervision to help you.
On top of that, I think clinical supervision should feel like coming back home. A space to think, and feel, differently. A conversation to explore conscious and unconscious biases. A place to stimulate your curiosity and play. A commitment to be drawn into the process of your work. An exchange of experiences. A relationship without unwritten rules. A negotiation of how we can help each other. A parallel to the therapeutic process we deliver for our clients.
This page details my supervision training, experience, approach, boundaries and guiding professional frameworks. I am also happy to arrange a conversation with you to discuss how clinical supervision with me could work. To do so CLICK HERE
My SUPERVISION Training, & experience
I have received specific training in clinical supervision from within the NHS (both generic and clinical trainee specific supervision courses) and externally on a British Psychological Society (BPS) approved course. I am qualified, to a doctoral level, in the clinical application of cognitive, behavioural, systemic and psycho dynamic psychological models. I have clinically supervised, students, trainees and qualified professionals, in the NHS, private and voluntary sector organisations, for the past eighteen years.
I receive monthly clinical supervision from a HCPC registered clinical psychologist. This best practice helps me work safely and effectively. In my supervision I discuss the dilemmas, and experiences, of working with my customers. I have received this kind of clinical supervision, from a clinical psychologist, for the past seventeen years.
A supervisory-matrix- centred approach
I take a supervisory-matrix-centered approach (Smith, 2009). Supervision within this approach is relational. Rather than being an uninvolved expert the supervisor's role is to “participate in, reflect upon, and process enactments, and to interpret relational themes that arise within either the therapeutic or supervisory dyads” (Frawley-O’Dea & Sarnat, 2001, p. 41.) ‘This includes an examination of parallel process, which is defined as “the supervisee’s interaction with the supervisor that parallels the client’s behavior with the supervisee as the therapist” (Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003.)
How does this approach work in practise?
The supervisee brings a problem to supervision. The supervisor becomes part of that problem. They experience, and contain, the emotions involved in the problem. They accept, and communicate, their responsibility for being part of that problem. They then consciously and transparently, change how they relate in supervision, to become part of a therapeutic solution to the problem.
For example, a supervisee may identify the problem of wanting to be a 'innocent' professional. The supervisor too may be attracted to this fantasy and so avoid challenging the supervisee and/or being challenged by them. Minimising the problem. The supervisor then experiences the anxiety of such a responsibility and hiding mistakes. Before recognising their own avoidance, apologising and detailing their errors. Then forming habits of vocalising mistakes from both within and without supervision. Providing permission, and a model, for the supervisee to do the same. In this way, the supervisee may pay for time with a helpfully involved, and vulnerable, supervisor so they can become helpfully vulnerable too.
'I felt comfortable at every session [of therapy] and felt I could share my struggles in a safe environment. After my sessions I have felt my anxiety improve and understand better why it happens and how to cope with it.'
'You have been absolutely amazing and helped me immensely'
Guiding Professional Frameworks
Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC)
'Our Standards support the case that registrants should be participating in supervision as part of their practise where possible. Supervision can support a culture of openness and candour and can help registrants meet our expectations by providing the opportunity to reflect on their practise and discuss challenges, with the support and guidance of another professional.
As a health and care professional, you should never stop learning and developing. This is reflected in our Standards:
Understand both the need to keep skills and knowledge up to date and the importance of career-long learning (Standard 3.3 of the Standards of proficiency)
You must keep your knowledge and skills up to date and relevant to your scope of practice through continuing professional development (Standard 3.3 of the Standards of conduct, performance and ethics)
Supervision is a great way to demonstrate your CPD, and the notes that you take during your sessions can be submitted as evidence if you are selected for CPD audit. You should therefore keep an accurate record of your supervision activities, including what was discussed at your sessions, feedback received or provided, reflection notes and how you have applied this to your practice (https://www.hcpc-uk.org/standards/meeting-our-standards/supervision-leadership-and-culture/supervision/what-our-standards-say/ extracted 23/9/2022.)
Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) of the British Psychological Society (BPS)
‘Clinical supervision has the specific purpose to maintain, update and develop clinical skills in assessment, formulation and interventions. This may address clinical work from various orientations – complex cases, based on diagnoses/conditions, interventions or model specific. Regular clinical supervision within the model of care that the clinician uses is a prerequisite for clinical practice. Such supervision also requires integration of clinical material with theoretical perspectives. There is a particular focus on the need to ensure that the work is evidence based and relates to most recent research and theoretical literature, as well as guidance from National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) and other formal guidance. The function is to ensure safe and effective practice within a respectful and trusting relationship. As there may be a high level of personal disclosure, strong emotions and also at times a high amount of challenge from the supervisor it is crucial that a good relationship is engendered and supported.’ (DCP (BPS) policy on supervision (May 2014, https://shop.bps.org.uk/dcp-policy-on-supervision.))
DCP (BPS) policy on supervision (May 2014)
Frawley-O'Dea, M. G., & Sarnat, J. E. (2001). The supervisory relationship: A contemporary psychodynamic approach. Guilford Press.
Hawkins, P., & Schwenk, G. (2011). The seven-eyed model of coaching supervision. Coaching and mentoring supervision: Theory and practice, 28-40.
Haynes, R., Corey, G., & Moulton, P. (2003). Clinical supervision in the helping professions: A practical guide. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
HCPC., (2022). What our standards say, https://www.hcpc-uk.org/standards/meeting-our-standards/supervision-leadership-and-culture/supervision/what-our-standards-say/
Proctor, B. (2010). Routledge handbook of clinical supervision.. Routledge.
Smith, K. L. (2009). A brief summary of supervision models.