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  • Fe Robinson

Intentional clinical supervision

All psychotherapists and counsellors have clinical supervision with a colleague, whose role is to be a final point of containment for their client work so that challenges they encounter are explored and worked through for the good of the client, and the clinician.  It’s a very important part of professional life, and while it has an ethical and governance role, it is more usually a source of learning and enrichment than anything else.

Each supervisor works differently.  I follow in the footsteps of those who trained and supervise me in focusing on outcomes.  As a therapist our contract is to enable our clients in moving towards their outcomes, I perceive this to be the same for supervisees.

When supervising, I encourage colleagues to begin each case they present with a focused, pithy statement of why they are bringing this person, in this moment.  What is the outcome they seek from the conversation?  It may be  safe place to explore their thoughts and feelings and work them through.  It may be for ideas or guidance.  It may be for suggestions of directions of enquiry, or pathways for onwards referrals…or many other things.

The important thing is that I don’t know yet.  Trouble is, often neither does my colleague!  Then, we can puzzle out together how come this case is calling for attention just now in a non-judgmental and curious way, and we can discover together.  

If you don’t know where you are going, any path will do.  Supervision time is precious, I encourage you to give thought before you go to what you want to have happen, and to share your intentions with your supervisor so that the supervision serves the purpose for which it is most needed each time.

smiling woman with blonde hair and rimless glasses


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