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Exploring six key elements of the Diploma in Supervision course

Bev and Ronen with speech bubbles

Bev Gibbons and Ronen Stilman share 6 things that have been important to them during the Diploma in Supervision course.

Now we are over half way through this years' Diploma in Supervision course, I've taken the opportunity to check in with the course trainers Bev Gibbons and Ronen Stilman.

We've been talking about how, as trainers, to keep our training fresh, its important that we are always looking at what we do and our responses to the material and the participants.

“All sorts of things can happen when you’re open to new ideas and playing around with things.” Stephanie Kwolek

Ronen and Bev have been reviewing the course so far this year and considering each element; the course material, the impact on students, the importance of the student's personal experiences and the impact of the wider world.

I'm sure that we all appreciate that it is difficult to narrow down the wealth of ideas, things that have struck them particularly. There may be a ‘light bulb’ switch over to ‘that’s what its about’ or quietly underlying thoughts and feelings towards re-learning and re-enforcing theories, ideas, philosophy of learning. Its not always easy to articulate thoughts and feelings into words.

Ronen and Bev have each chosen three things to share that have been surfacing as as part of the reflection and review process and are delighted to share them with us.

Ronen Stilman

Ronen's selection of key elements the supervision course

There is more than one way

Our students on the course come from a broad range of backgrounds, professional work and experiences. They bring the whole of that with them to the course. A ‘one size fits all approach’ to clinical supervision is a narrow view which is not possible to reconcile with this diversity and richness. It would also be unethical to try and force people into a particular model.

No two clients or two supervises are the same. Treat each individual process individually.

We like to be treated as individuals and quite often are not. We also operate in a variety of contexts. Formulaic client work and supervision doesn’t deal with the person as an individual, it excludes the unique relationships between people, and does not account for the context these operate in. We need to have an approach that gets curious about who people are and how that may differ from our expectation of who they are.

Walk the talk - if you want openness, trust, respect, etc- model it

Its easy to tell people how to be, what to do, but much harder to do it when the going gets tough. Make your work a living, breathing, example of what you wish for.


Bev Gibbons

Bev's Choices of key elements

The importance of Come as You Are - fostering a supervisory culture where all involved bring all of their skills and prior learning to the space.

We are passionate about creating a culture within the whole Diploma in Supervision course experience that welcomes and asks our participants to bring all of themselves and all that they are. Our course participants come from a wide cross section and out invitation to 'Come As You Are' is central.

Have fun and play together

As Alfred Mercier says

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget.”

We place a lot of emphasis on connection and we understand that building connection is a process. Having fun and playing together adds to the process and helps us to find the edges - of ourselves and of others. This in turn fosters respect and trust, enabling authentic connection. Because we are working online, we don’t get the moments for coffee break chatter in the same way as we would face to face, which means the connection aspect needs more attention, and we hold this in mind as we design each encounter. Fun and playing also help us keep as sense of open mindedness and creativity.

The joy of ethical debate

I love that ethics is about exploring the grey areas. Its about collaboratively investigating and weighing up alternative view points, making connections, looking at the big picture as well as the small issues.

Having this kind of ethical discussion in the group is really important for anchoring learning and fostering an approach that balances mutuality of ideas with the asymmetry of the supervisory relationship.

Its been inspiring hearing from Bev and Ronen on their thoughts on the key elements of the diploma in supervision course they have been reflecting on. I also find it interesting that they have both highlighted different things - a perfect example of 'two heads are better than one' perhaps?


Diploma in Supervision

For more information on the Diploma in Supervision course, go to the course page. On it, you can download a brochure or find out full details of the course content, application process, course dates and fees.

You might also be interested in these blog articles on supervision:

Clinical supervision session image

Answering reflective questions in supervision


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