What is Supervision?
Supervision is a wonderful way to continue your education because it facilitates the development of insight into your practice and personality and ultimately helps enhance your professional performance. Supervision is a process whereby professionals discuss the work they do with their clients or patients with another professional who is both more experienced in the field and has been trained to offer guidance and supervision.
In our professional work, it is important to recognize that reactions and responses occur on many levels (beyond the physical) in us, in our clients, and between our clients and us. On the technical level, we provide modalities such as massage, Cranio-sacral, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc., aimed at helping our patients deal with physical disease and pain. However, our patients come to us as whole people, and often want to tell us about their lives, their worries, and their emotional responses. Additionally, there is the relationship dynamic between us—the practitioner, and the patients, as well as the patient's need to see us as healers who will recognize, accept, and unconditionally love them. Finally, there is the internal reactivity and dialogue that goes on inside both the practitioner and the patient. This is a very complex scenario.
All of these levels can create difficulties or confusion for us as professionals. Supervision provides the opportunity to discuss issues with another professional in an attempt to move beyond personal limitations.
On the technical level, we might not be able to achieve the results with the techniques we are using. Or, we may have forgotten how a certain technique is most effectively applied. A Supervisor can work with you to refine and refresh your technical skills.
Clients come to us with their emotional problems. We may feel overwhelmed or unprepared to cope skillfully with this part of our work. Clients can also trigger our personal issues. In the literature, these issues are referred to as, "transference" and "counter-transference." If we, as practitioners, unconsciously get caught in these issues, we can become emotionally enmeshed and ineffective (or even miserable) in our work. For most of us, it is not possible to make sense of or resolve these interpersonal reactions alone. Supervision can help us get clear about what is happening, avoid burn-out and overwhelm, and continue to do effective work with our clients.
The Benefits of Supervision are Unlimited!
Supervision sessions can be tailored to address your specific circumstances. Some pertinent issues include:
- Your relationship with your clients
- Your role as a professional
- Your relationship with your co-workers
- The health and success of your practice
- Your work ethics
- Your learning process
How Does Supervision Happen?
Supervision can happen one-on-one with a supervisor or in a group format. One or several issues can be discussed. Techniques can be reviewed, and our personal and professional problems can be revealed and solutions explored. During supervision sessions, expansion becomes possible as limitations are identified.
In group supervision sessions, several professionals come together with a supervisor. While each individual's particular issue may not always be directly addressed in every session, everyone benefits and gains new insight as a result of the exploration of someone else's professional difficulties.
Who Needs Supervision
Supervision is valued among almost all professionals in the healing and health professions and is an integral part of their work. While it has not historically been emphasized in the bodywork professions, Ursula believes it is vital to our personal and professional well-being and development, as well as the effectiveness of our work.
Some Indications for Supervision
- Strong emotional reactions to clients
- Burnout or a feeling of being overworked
- Exhaustion at the end of a workday
- Depression on days when you don't see clients
- Inability to take time away from your practice
- Isolation from friends and family, or from other professionals
Ursula as a Supervisor
Personally, I have always sought supervision in my work as a counselor and bodyworker and have benefited enormously from this form of learning and personal growth. My training as a Counselor in Switzerland included training as a supervisor. For many years thereafter, I worked for the Swiss government offering supervision as part of my counseling practice. In my current work, I provide supervision to a broad range of professionals.
Cost of Sessions
Supervision sessions last 1 hour and 15 minutes and cost $125.