“Supervision is a formal arrangement for therapists to discuss their work regularly with someone who is experienced in both therapy and supervision. The task is to work together to ensure and develop the efficacy of the therapist/client relationship” (What is Supervision, BACP, August 2008).

Supervision provides professional support and guidance in a safe and confidential setting where there is time to reflect and grow. It is a multi-level approach which can be used to explore many professional and work-related matters, such as direct work with clients, professional identity and working styles, ethical practice and decision making, impact issues and secondary trauma resulting from work undertaken, organisational issues, training and development needs, job responsibilities and challenges, team dynamics and working relationships, and many other aspects that may affect practitioners personally and professionally.

“Supervision… adds an extra layer, another world and perspective, and theoretical frames and chains of inferences arising from them may inform questions as well… a chance to review assumptions, schemas of thought, understanding of parallel process, or how the situation [may or may not have been] misunderstood” (Henderson, 2009, p96). The supervisory relationship offers each practitioner an opportunity to tease out, constructively challenge, and augment further understanding of their work, as well as acknowledge their achievements and gain greater clarity around their own unique style as it develops.

Supervision can be an ongoing process where the supervisor and supervisee meet on a regular basis, or offered as occasional consultative support where meetings take place as necessary, depending on the professional requirements of the therapist and the expectations of the professional body to which they belong. Supervisors also undertake supervision as part of their professional support.


Judy Evans