What is Supervision?

Professional Supervision is an essential piece for mental health practitioners. It not only improves practice safety but provides opportunities for skill development, and ensures that counsellors receive ongoing support.

Working under supervision means that a counsellor engages the services of a qualified Supervisor to review their counselling practice. Ethical, professional and often the personal development of the counsellor is taken into account when supervision takes place. Supervision is a professional service whereby an agreement is set out, and payment for services. It’s also important to note that qualified Supervisors undertake additional training that provides them with the skills to offer effective evaluation and feedback. One such organisation that provides training in Australia is Optimise Potential.

The Supervision Relationship

Professional Supervision involves maintaining a relationship that is similar to the counsellor to the client relationship. The quality of this relationship is vital to ensure the effectiveness, transparency and progress of a supervisee’s supervision. Therefore a healthy relationship between the supervisor and supervisee.

Who needs professional Supervision?

All practising counsellors should be required by their association to complete supervision. However how much time spent under Professional supervision is dependent on the members association. As an example, the Australian Counselling Association requires its members to complete a minimum of 10 hours of supervision per year and recommends 1 hour of supervision for every 10 hours of client sessions. It’s also important to remember that supervision exists to monitor the self-care of counsellors, improve their professional growth and also to protect the client.

Supervision and Confidentiality

Supervision is a personal and sensitive process, so confidentiality must be respected and upheld like any other therapeutic conversation. It is important that boundaries are clearly defined and understood by all parties. By creating a safe space to share information Supervisors will aid the supervision process and the growth of the supervisee.

Types of Supervision

Personal Supervision – This is held in a one on one setting and usually lasts around one hour.

Peer Supervision –  Where qualified supervisors will, in turn, supervise each other.

Group Supervision – A meeting of supervisees with a Supervisor usually lasting for at least 1.5 hours. Group Supervision is useful as a learning mechanism for counsellors and students.

Finding the right Supervisor

Finding the right supervisor and maintaining a healthy relationship can be a challenging process. Distance can often complicate this even further. It is common practice for counsellors to leverage technology to help stay in touch. However, the security and confidentiality of email and communication platforms such as Skype have recently come into question. With this in mind Supervision by Supportive is the first platform that offers a qualified Supervisor directory, secure chat and video, session recordings and secure document sharing.