A registered counsellor must have supervision throughout their careers. This applies to the Counselling Association bodies in the UK and the rest of Europe. Yet, not all counsellors in the USA have to have supervised hours each year.
Supervision does not mean having a supervisor sit in on counselling sessions. Unless, it was beneficial for the client and then, only with their express permission.
Supervision, is the time a counsellor talks with a senior person about their therapies & approaches. Specifically, to improve the ability of the individual counsellor.
This discussion covers counselling theory & practice. It is designed to improve the effectiveness of all counsellors regardless of their level of experience. It also helps to safeguard them against stress & burnout.
Who benefits from supervision?
This is not just for the benefit of the counsellor. It is also for the benefit of their clients. The client is safeguarded with the knowledge that their counsellor is upgrading their skills.
Student counsellors while studying theory need to gain practical experience. This practical work is also subject to supervision time. This can be one-to-one or in a group session. Students in groups can discuss their experiences and draw on each other’s knowledge.
Ask your counsellor about their supervision?
Any client has a right to ask their counsellor if they are supervised and what it entails. A counsellor should be willing to disclose at an early stage their monitoring process.
If they do not meet with a supervisor a client should consider if they want to work one who is unsupervised. Even counsellors, who work on their own, usually belong to a counselling association. The Association will have a code of ethics and professional practice guidelines for their members. This will include the number and type of supervisory hours any member must adhere to.
As stated above there is two main criteria that supervision meets: – 1)Client protection
2)Ensuring the counsellor gives better professional value to clients.
It is rare for a client to meet a counsellor’s supervisor. Knowing that the counsellor has supervision increase confidence. Such supervision, gives the counsellor time to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings.
Are my details discussed in supervision?
In their supervision hours, a counsellor can discuss freely their case load. This can be carried out without breaching confidentiality. They are able to share their thoughts and get valuable guidance from a senior therapist. Supervision can include discussing and developing their awareness of the latest research. Extending this knowledge as to and how it can apply to their practice.
Mental health issues are complex. Each client must be handled according to their individual and specific situations. It is not just a case of opening a book and reading chapter 23. Having done so applying the same techniques from the chapter for every client. Perhaps, to the lay-person, the techniques of counselling appear the same for everyone.
The counselling process of handling personality disorders requires high standards of training. To have the ability to not use counselling techniques as a panacea. To use the therapeutic method as it specifically applies to the client. The average human being has a head, arms, legs and body. But, there are individual differences so that every human is unique. It is exactly the same with therapy. A counsellor may for example work with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. But, that therapy is made up of individual ways of working for the benefit of the client.
It is not a case of one that fits all situations.
It is these complexities that make it critical that a counsellor spends many hours each month in discussion with a senior therapist.
These hours carry the same amount of confidentiality as those between client and therapist. The information shared in these monitoring sessions is sacrosanct. It cannot be shared outside the conversations between therapist and supervisor. The protection of the client is always at the forefront of such discussions. The goal is to improve the service the client receives.
As one can see from the above, the position of a supervisor is a responsible one. Counselling supervision is a vital role. One that is always carried out within the guidelines of their Counselling Authority.
The supervisor will always have in mind that the outcome of such meetings should be that a counsellor is better qualified to build a therapeutic alliance with their client.