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  • jane@northside

Why is clinical supervision important for counsellors and therapists?

Why supervision?

Clinical supervision has three overarching purposes:

  • to enhance the counsellor or therapist's professional development

  • to ensure that the therapist's work with clients is ethical and effective

  • to promote the therapist's overall well-being.

Clinical supervision is essential for ensuring that counsellors are providing the highest quality of care to their clients. It is also a requirement for many professional organisations and regulatory bodies such as BACP or UKCP.

What happens in supervision sessions

The supervision session is a tool to help the therapist reflect on their work and get support with including any challenges or difficult cases. It is a process in which a counsellor or therapist receives guidance and support from a more experienced and qualified professional or supervisor. During a supervision session, the supervisee puts forward the work they are doing with clients and can ask for feedback, guidance, and support as appropriate. The supervisor may also give opportunities to enhance their skills, knowledge, and awareness through training, role-play, or other activities.

An important part

Given that many therapists work alone, the supervisor role replaces that which would normally be undertaken by a team leader or line manager or mentor in other work situations. As such, the supervision session is also an important component of ongoing professional development and can help practitioners to maintain high standards of practice, stay up-to-date on best practices and avoid burnout.

How much supervision do I need?

Those new to being a practitioner or students in training are usually required to undertake more supervision than more experienced therapists.

Often there are a required number of hours depending on how much time is spent with clients. Each organisation has their own minimum criteria so its worth checking with your professional organisation or regulatory body on their criteria. Some bodies are happy for you to undertake supervision with a group of therapists, some specify that supervision must be one to one. Check also on whether the supervision can be online or whether it must be face to face.

Can I have more than one supervisor?

If you have more than one role, you may have more than one supervisor - depending on their specialist or responsibility. If there is a specific issue that the supervisor is unsure of, they may also point you in the direction of an alternative supervisor who could help you with that issue.

How do I become a supervisor?

Supervisors need to have a level of experience to undertake the role. There are also courses in becoming a supervisor to consider to help with theory, skills practice, role play etc.


Diploma in Supervision

Online course taking place over 10 days (4 weekends) with Bev Gibbons and Ronen Stilman.

Click here for more details.


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