The task is to work together to ensure and develop the effectiveness of the counsellor/client relationship, it is also a support for the counsellor to explore any issues that may arise.
You will be seeking a counselling supervisor if you're in private practice and although this topic is vast, we're focusing on 8 considerations for choosing a supervisor.
1. Ask or find out the whether their theoretical input is the same as yours.
It can often be confusing if you choose a supervisor who's methods and processes differ from your own philosophical background and theory training. If you're trained in person centred therapy, would you seek out a psychodynamic supervisor?
2. If in private practice you can safely say that the less experience the counsellor has, the more experience the supervisor needs to have.
Research and ask about the level of experience that your supervisor has. However, think about where you're at in your counselling process and what level of experience feels right for you.
3. Does the supervisor also have their own private practice.
How do they work? Where from? Have you looked at their website? Do you have any questions?
4. Suggest an initial meeting or a phone call.
Reflect on the rapport you have with them. How do you feel when you're with them? How do they make you feel about your counselling practice?
5. The amount of supervision should be proportionate in relation to the nature and amount of therapy
Intensive trauma work or heavy case loads may require more intensive supervision The minimum requirement for supervision outlined by BACP is one to one and a half hours per month or per 8 hours of client contact.
What is your potential supervisor offering? What are your requirements?
6. Will the potential supervisor prepare a contract between you and them.
This is a guideline for the way you will work together and it is good practice. It is subject to review and will cover such practical arrangements as fees, privacy of venue, length of contact time and frequency of contact.
7. Finding a supervisor is very personal, much like a counsellor.
You may not find the right one for you straight away, however, it's important to do your research, suggest initial meetings and/or phone calls and not be bound by your location.
If you're working within an organisation, supervision is usually provided by them. If they outsource, often they have a list.
8. Where to start?
If you're in a position to look for a supervisor you can search online via BACP's Find a Therapist Directory by choosing the word ‘supervisor’ in the dropdown arrow. If there are no therapists specifically working as supervisors in your area, it is suggested that an accredited therapist e.g. UKRC, BACP or UKCP (preferably with experience in supervision) might be suitable. These can also be found in the BACP online directory.
You need to find your own supervisor and rely on your own questions and intuitions. A supervisor highly commended by one of your colleagues may not be the right fit for you, so it's important to be your own investigator.
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