About the Process

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or What to expect in supervision and clinical consultations

The five steps in teaching (an employee) new skills are preparation, explanation, showing, observation and supervision.     Bruce Barton

 

Scheduling
Individual consultation and supervision sessions with me usually are 30 or 60 minutes long. Supervision dyads are at least two hours in length. Supervision sessions are usually scheduled at least once a month while consultation sessions are booked on an as-needed basis. Occasionally, more frequent sessions can be booked if circumstances make it advisable.

Goals
In consultation session the goals for each session are set by the client. Clients bring their questions and / or concern to be discussed during the session. Consultation meetings can include any of the following topics:

  • client issues
  • transference and counter-transference issues
  • discussion of new tools or practices
  • personal issues arising from client contact
  • business related questions
  • etc.

Supervision sessions are more structured. During supervision sessions a variety of points will be covered, including but not limited to:

  • update on client progress
  • possible blocks, transference and counter-transference issues
  • practical discussion of tools and interventions

The overall goal of supervision is to allow the intern / therapist in training to gain confidence and practice in the work with clients while being supported and guided along the way. More detailed goals are discussed and agreed on at the beginning of the supervisory process.

Practical Process
Consultation meetings are entirely client directed. The more detailed and clear the client’s agenda for a meeting is, the more clear and precise the session will unfold.

Supervision meetings generally start with a general update on the client’s practice, any client issues and concerns that may have arisen, and if applicable follow-ups on previous discussions.

During a supervision session I may encourage the client to consider alternative approaches to a client situation; alert the client to possible biases, blocks or counter-transference issues; and challenge interventions that seem to be missing the intended target.

If during a supervision session it becomes apparent that some of the client’s personal issues may be interfering with his / her therapeutic client work, I may initiate a short personal, therapeutic intervention during the session. However, if the underlying issue seems to be beyond a brief exploration, the client may be asked to take this issue to her / his own therapist for further exploration.

Any consultation or supervision is only successful if the points discussed in our sessions are taken into the client’s therapeutic work. It is entirely up to the client to implement changes in her / his practice. In the case of supervision I may insist on a specific way of implementation in certain circumstances.

The process will work best if the client feels safe and comfortable in our professional relationship. I will do my best to mirror and bring awareness to possible issues, blocks, and counter-transference in a respectful and honest way. I strive to build a safe environment of trust and support which allows clients to look honestly at their practices and their own patterns and behaviours.

Like any relationship, our professional relationship is only as good as its boundaries. Mutual respect of time and space are important to make this relationship work. Holding to agreements like appointment times, cancellation times, fee schedules etc. is part of a respectful relationship. Another part is honesty and direct communication. If at any point you have questions or concerns about our work, please let me know. I can’t help you or make a change if I don’t know that there is a problem or what the problem is.

My approach in all my endeavours is personal, non-denominational, non-judgmental, non-prescriptive, and deeply honouring of the individual I am working with. I see myself as a guide: holding a light, suggesting possible directions and pathways, bringing awareness to stumbling stones and possible detours, and offering a hand and directions when you stumble or fall on the way. I would be honoured to walk with you for a part of your journey.

As a registered psychotherapist in Ontario my work is also guided by the professional standards set by my College. If you would like to enquire about these standards, please check the College’s website at http://www.crpo.ca/