What does supervision mean in the context of counselling or psychotherpay? In the interests of both clients and practitioners, most professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy require members to incorporate supervision into their clinical practice.
Working under supervision (see “Clinical Supervision, Training and Development”) means that a counsellor or psychotherapist uses the services of another counsellor or psychotherapist to review their work with clients, their professional development, and often their personal development as well. Supervision is a professional service, rather than a managerial role, and for counsellors who work in institutions, supervision and management will normally be entirely separate. The supervisor acts not as a ‘boss’, but as a consultant. Some counsellors also use group supervision, in which several therapists confer on each other’s work, although ordinarily this is used in addition to individual supervision, rather than as a replacement
In the view of this site, all counsellors and psychotherapists, regardless of experience, need supervision. Not only do most professional bodies in the UK such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy require supervision, but it is also seen by many as an ethical imperative. A client who encounters a therapist working without supervision should probably consider carefully whether they wish to work with that therapist. (Having said that, it should also be recognized that significant cross-cultural differences in views on supervision exist: many practitioners in the US, for instance, are not supervised.)
Supervision exists for two reasons:
1.to protect clients, and
2.to improve the ability of counsellors to provide value to their clients. Supervision protects clients by involving an impartial third party in the work of a counsellor and client, helping to reduce the risk of serious oversight and helping the counsellor concerned to reflect on their own...
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