Ideas on how to get the best out of supervision

Important: Decide before the supervision session what you want to bring. 

  • Sometimes recalling sessions out loud is helpful as long as you are clear why you are doing so and what you want the listener to listen out for. Other times it is a sign of not being prepared or being excessively independent and this will lead to you not feeling fulfilled from your supervision session. 
  • Allow yourself to be helped, Knowing one does not know is a strength!

Supervision should be collaborative and contain 3 elements

  • Normative: How are your sessions are going?
  • Formative: The educative element, helping, what is your learning edge?
  • Restorative: Taking care. Are you looking after yourself?

Ways to find out what you could benefit from bringing to supervision:

  1. Consider

What interactions/sessions/clients/interventions were you pleased with?

What was difficult for you?

What are you uncertain about?

What are you looking forward to in your next counselling session?

Are there any anxieties with any of your clients or how you are working with them?

Do you have a client that reminds you of someone?

Do you have any fantasies about the client / outcomes?

  1. Scan your client records and see if anything stands out you might like to talk about.
  1. Make a priority list of issues arising for exploration in supervision (come prepared).

4. Think about what you want to learn.

  1. Consider how you might present your material to your supervisor / supervision group.
  1. Any organizational issues, supervision issues, course issues. (don’t let things build up)
  1. Are you stuck with a client?
  1. Are your clients issues resonating with your own?
  1. How are the boundaries? (do you begin on time and end on time?)
  1. Could you benefit from role play or other creative modalities as ways to imagine into your clients world more?
  1. Do you feel bored, angry, entertained, parental….when you are with your client?
  1. Where in the therapy are you, beginning, middle, end? How is this? How are you with these phases. (it’s good to know our own styles of ending for example)
  1. Do you just need to put something down.
  1. Has a client stayed with you a lot since your session.
  1. Apply theory sometimes to your thinking and share in supervision what theory you are referring to. This can be helpful for those training and to avoid complacency in those trained!