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Sunday, 17 April 2011

The relational supervisor......some thoughts......

Here are some of my thoughts...................

The relational supervisor recognizes the presence of a multiplicity of relationships in the supervisory/supervisee relationship. The relational supervisor seeks to provide a relationship that will support the supervisee to develop their awareness and enhance their personal and professional development, where he or she can expand their skills and knowledge of both theory and practice to support their clients and their own professional development. The relational supervisor seeks to be able to support the supervisee to support the client to identify, assess and re-work repeating relational patterns and dynamic elements which they identify as unhelpful to them. Unconscious processes will be present in the therapeutic and supervisory relationship and an awareness of these and capacity to focus upon these to develop skills will form part of the work of a trainee and supervisor. For example, a trainee may when talking about a particular client seemingly may present themselves in a specific way. This will be identified in the supervisory relationship and explored. Why do you appear to present in this way when referring to this client? How do you feel about him or her? Tell me what you experienced initially and in follow-on sessions? Exploring parallel process I see as useful when brought to the attention of the supervisee. This can support the trainee and the client. This exploration may support a deeper self-understanding that may be experienced as healing for both the client and the trainee.

Like the relational trainee, the relational supervisor asserts that she has no superior knowledge about the client, the supervisee or the work being supervised; indeed my own interpretation will be based only on my perception, my truth and my reality. Therefore without discounting my supervisory skills or experience or my role as supporter, helping the supervisee to integrate theory and practice, I want to consider, seek out and explore with the supervisee the insights and meaning he/she identifies with, and that resonates with the client). Supporting the supervisee to develop faith in their own skills, demonstrating positivity in their capacity to practice and therefore building a solid foundation where trust is felt and experienced by the supervisee, will serve the trainee well. This said I am aware of the need to ensure safe and good practice and to discuss how to improve upon poor practice. In supervisory practice there is an inescapable power differential but my aim is to promote dual responsibility, dual negotiation, dual learning, dual development, a dual commitment to good practice therefore a relational sense of mutuality.

Any others thoughts from you?

Warmest Viv

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