It is widely accepted that all Counsellors, whether experienced or just starting out, will benefit from having regular professional clinical supervision . A supervisor acts in a mentoring role, providing emotional support as well as information and guidance.
In Geldard and Geldard's book Basic Personal Counselling (2001), they state that all counsellors need clinical supervision to help them resolve their own issues and to avoid burnout in what is an emotionally draining occupation. As well as providing a sounding board for the counselor’s concerns, a supervisor is in a good position to spot the onset of any symptoms of burnout and to assist the counselor in dealing with them.
Supervision is perhaps the most important component in the development of a competent practitioner. It is within the context of supervision that trainees begin to develop a sense of their professional identity and to examine their own beliefs and attitudes regarding clients and therapy. (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2007, p.360)
A good counsellor will be fully aware of his or her own values, beliefs, attitudes, and biases; being aware of them lessens the danger of their impacting negatively on the counseling relationship. We all operate within a personal belief system, but counselors need to always remember to work with their clients in a way that is consistent with the client’s values, not their own.
Besides the benefits mentioned, supervision is a mandatory requirement for counselors to keep their registration with a professional body, thus allowing them to obtain insurance.
Dr Peter Richard-Herbert is a registered counsellor, a consultant analytical psychotherapist, a clinical hypnotherapist, and a psychoanalyst. He is unique in that he uses each of these areas selectively when working with a client to offer a more rounded and effective therapy. It also gives him the edge as a supervisor.
All clinical supervision appointments are approx 90 minutes long, and are in the Bowral, Southern Highlands office or online via Zoom.
“There are many reasons to be proactive in getting clinical supervision for ourselves. First, supervision is a central form of support where we can focus on our own difficulties as workers as well as have our supervisor share some of the responsibility for our work with the clients. Second, supervision forms part of our continual learning and development as workers, eventually helping us to learn how to be supervisors.
A good supervisor can also help us to use our own resources better, manage our work load, and challenge our inappropriately patterned ways of coping. We think that if we are helping clients make more changes in their own lives, it is essential that we are doing the same. Finally, there is research to show that good clinical supervision correlates with job satisfaction”. (Hawkins & Shohet, 2000, p.23)
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