A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision

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Chapter 3, The Supervision Relationship, examines how to negotiate the conditions of supervision and establish an effective supervision relationship taking particular cognisance of issues of power, authority and managing difference. Our approach to the supervision relationship promotes supervisee ownership and participation in supervision through developing trust and an orientation towards learning, and continuing professional development.

Chapter 4, The Organisational Context of Supervision, examines how supervision acts as a significant process within professional settings and within individual careers and explores professional learning in the organisational context. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 focus on the doing of supervision and the essential skills for supervisors. Chapter 5 introduces A Reflective Learning Model for Supervision, which draws from adult learning theory and understanding of reflective practice. This approach provides a detailed process for the conduct of supervision.

It positions the supervisee as the director and the supervisor as facilitator of the supervision process. Chapter 6, Developing Expertise: Becoming a Critically Reflective Supervisor, explores the relationship between reflective practice, critical reflection, social justice and the core values of the helping professions and links these to ongoing reflective supervision, throughout professional careers.

Chapter 7, Skills for Supervision, provides a developmental framework for assessment and development of essential skills for effective supervision within a reflective learning approach. The next two chapters explore aspects of the emotional content of supervision and those elements of supervision that engage the functions of support and personal professional development. Chapter 8, Communication and Emotion in Supervision, explores difficult interactions in supervision processes and suggests interventions.

This section will examine the place of strong emotion in professional practice and supervision and the relevance of this in understanding and responding to challenging moments in practice. Chapter 9, Promoting Professional Resilience, examines the development of professional resilience in practitioners in health and social care. We review the role of supervision in assisting professionals to manage stress in demanding and complex health and social care environments. Chapter 10, Supervising Students in Clinical Placements, considers the particular issues and elements of supervising students in pre-service training and education for the social and health professions.

The centrality of teaching and learning concepts is identified for this context of supervision practice.

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A variation of the Reflective Learning Model of supervision for students on clinical placements is outlined. Chapter 11, Supervision in Child Protection, explores the contribution supervision can make to enhancing accountability, professional development and support of social workers in child protection. In particular we explore collaborative approaches to supervision that promote critical reasoning strategies. The development of group consultation approaches linked to effective assessment frameworks is outlined.

The potential for the. The authors have used a number of vignettes to illustrate the many challenges faced by practitioners in health and social care and how such situations may be drawn into the supervision encounter. We wish to declare that no one situation is real but, rather, all scenarios reflect a composite of the many events that have challenged us, both as practitioners and supervisors, and which we believe may resonate with readers.

Bernard, however, in a review of supervision over the past 25 years, reports that during this time the development of models has been limited, and that what has occurred has been a refinement, exploration and testing of existing models Bernard , p. In some instances, Bernard notes, the introduction of an ideology such as feminist supervision has transformed existing models whilst the introduction of new theory, rather than creating new models, has introduced new approaches.

An example is the influence of post modern constructivist theory on the development of the strengths and solutions focused approaches to supervision. Research by Milne et al. Some models of supervision are highly detailed and structured, for example, the Developmental Model Davys ; Loganbill et al. Others are based around a set of practice principles or theory and rather than providing a specific blueprint for supervision present an approach.

Rich developed an integrated model of supervision whilst Milne et al. In this chapter we begin with a discussion of the functional approaches to supervision, as we believe that it is here, within these basic parameters of supervision, that the supervision territory and framework is defined. Later in the chapter we will briefly consider four other models and approaches of supervision: the developmental, reflective, post modern and cultural models.

Our choice of models presented here reflects those which have, in some part, been useful to or developed through our practice and teaching. This is not to say that omitted models are of less value or importance. Rather we refer readers to the original source where the authors are better able to do justice to their own ideas and work. One model that we do not address and yet has had particular value in our teaching and practice is the Seven-eyed supervision: process model of Hawkins and Shohet , We mention it here to note our appreciation of this very useful framework.

Functions of supervision Traditionally, models of supervision have identified three key functions or tasks of supervision. Although differently labelled, these functions have remained fairly constant over the years. Pettes employed the terms administration, teaching and helping whilst Kadushin described the functions as administrative, educative and supportive. The administrative function describes the practitioner and supervisors accountability to the policies, protocols, ethics and standards which are prescribed by organisations, legislation and regulatory bodies.

The educative function addresses the ongoing professional skill development and resourcing of the practitioner. The supportive function attends to the more personal relationship between the practitioner and the work context. Inskipp and Proctor , p. This model, the Supervision Alliance Model Proctor , p.

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The normative task of supervision is the shared responsibility of the supervisor and counsellor for monitoring the standards and ethical practice of the counsellor; the formative task of supervision is the shared responsibility for the counsellors development in skill, knowledge and understanding and the restorative task is the provision of space, or the chance to explore opportunities elsewhere, for discharging held emotions and recharging energies, ideals and creativity Inskipp and Proctor , p.

Some functional models encompass only two functions Payne ; Rich Payne calls this amalgamation the professional function whilst Rich , appears to be discussing a similar pairing which he calls the clinical function. Morrison , p. The inclusion of the mediation function is an important and interesting For Morrison p. That there is tension between the functions of supervision and, accordingly, a need to negotiate this encounter is a theme which is identified and discussed throughout the literature Carroll , p.

An excellent, and often repeated Hughes and Pengelly , p. The supervisorworker relationship is the key encounter where the influence of organisational authority and professional identity collide, collude or connect Middleman and Rhodes , p. Hughes and Pengelly identify three functions of supervision and propose a triangulated model which graphically captures the competing tensions of the supervision process. Linking the three functions of supervision to the participants of supervision the supervisee, the supervisor and the service user or client , they describe the functions as managing service delivery, facilitating practitioners professional development and focusing on practitioners work Hughes and Pengelly , p.

The functions are represented as corners of a triangle illustrated by Figure 2. In this model, managing service delivery addresses the requirement of supervision to ensure that policies, procedures and protocols as defined by the agency or by statute or regulation are followed. It is also through this function that the quality and quantity of work and the decisions and priorities of practice are addressed. The ongoing professional development of the supervisee takes place within the function of.

The depiction of each of the functions as a corner of a triangle neatly captures the tensions and decisions present in any supervision session. From this model Hughes and Pengelly identify three key issues: first, that it is difficult to address all three functions of supervision in any one session, second, that the interrelationship between the three functions means that they cannot be regarded separately and finally that supervision becomes unsafe if one corner is ignored or avoided for any length of time , p.

Failure to address issues at any one of the corners of the triangle is therefore not an option. The challenge or dilemma they believe lies in having the time, skill and experience to manage the difficult tensions Hughes and Pengelly , p. They also warn of the deadly equal triangle where rigid adherence to each corner can stifle the effectiveness of supervision work and not allow sufficient depth.

There is, they suggest, no right balance but supervisors are encouraged to view the model as a map by which they can review and check where time is spent in supervision and which corners are being avoided or neglected. In this way any imbalance can be challenged and addressed. A recent study by Bradley and Hojer also referred to in Chapter 4 , which reviewed social work supervision in England and Sweden noted that although each country addressed all three functions of supervision, each gave different emphasis. In England the managerial function received more attention whereas in Sweden it was the supportive.

Bradley and Hojer also note that in Sweden each component of supervision is likely to take place in a different location , p. Representation of the functions of supervision as a triangle is most effective.

It graphically locates the intersection of each of the functions of supervision at each apex of the triangle and thus heightens the sense of tension inherent in supervision arrangements. The integrity of a triangle lies in these points of tension and the importance of holding them in balance is therefore apparent for otherwise the structure would distort or collapse. Returning to Middleman and Rhodes comment on how the profession and the organisation come together in supervision, we note from our own experience that some supervisors fall into a quandary of how to respond in supervision when faced with the tensions of these competing functions.

The choices, as Middleman and Rhodes remind, are between collision, collusion or connection. Vignette Jason Jason was angry with the new requirement from the agency to limit the number of visits to patients in the community. In supervision, with a supervisor who was external to the agency, he expressed his anger and dismissal of the new process. The supervisor knew that Jason was a conscientious practitioner who liked to give his clients the best service. Option 1 Collide The supervisor was clear and uncompromising. She reminded Jason that as this was a requirement then he had to comply.

Yes, she understood that this might not be best practice, but he had no options. This was a sign of the times and a reality of current practice. Possibly he could review his time management learn to work smarter. They could consider that in their supervision together. Jason left the session feeling angry and determined to avoid complying with the new process. Option 2 Collude The supervisor heard Jason out and sympathised with his view of the situation.

She shared her own practice experience in a similar situation and agreed that this policy was not in the best interest of patient care. When she asked Jason how he was going to adjust to this new policy, he replied that he had no intention of doing so and would still make the visits but not record his time. The supervisor warned Jason not to get found out.

Jason left the session feeling justified in his decision to avoid complying with the new process. Option 3 Connect The supervisor heard Jason out and sympathised with his situation. She shared her own experience and frustration with a similar situation. She asked Jason why he thought the new system was being introduced in his agency. What gains were being envisaged? Were there any benefits he could see in the long run? What support was being offered to assist staff and patients to accommodate the new system?

She asked Jason to reflect on any similar past experiences he had had what had he learned from that? What were his professional objections to the changes and were there other ways to address those? Jason left the session feeling heard and with a plan to approach his manager to discuss his concerns and to present a proposal which would give patients and practitioners some other options. Middleman and Rhodes locate the tensions of supervision between the expectations of the organisation and the profession. Using Hughes and Pengellys model we believe that the tensions are between all three functions and that the role of the supervisor is to manage the tension, and build relationships and an environment where connections can be made.

Carroll describes this as holding the three tasks of supervision in creative tension, building and creating environments that sustain learning while still monitoring the professionalism of the work Carroll , p. One of the key differences between Hughes and Pengellys model and other functional approaches is the explicit exclusion of support as a function of supervision.

Support, they argue, is a means not an end. When support is identified as a function of supervision there is a danger of a collusive focus on the workers needs for their own sake, rather than a focus on the worker in order to promote a better service Hughes and Pengelly , p. Support in supervision, we agree, is a core condition of supervision but not a function.

Support is a central and necessary element in supervision for it is through an awareness of, and a confidence in, the supportive relationship that the challenges of practice can be tolerated and accepted. Support in supervision has been conceptualised as the supervisors provision of comfort, recognition, encouragement and approval Lizzio, Wilson and Que , p. This provision of support is necessary whatever function is being addressed. Supervisees need for support in supervision, however, will vary.

As supervisees develop in experience, competence and confidence the level of support they need changes Lizzio et al. Too little support can create uncertainty and anxiety whilst too much support may be too permissive and mean that issues of competence and performance are not addressed Lizzio et al. The positioning of support as a condition rather than a function of supervision has a subtle but significant effect on the role of the supervisee in the supervision relationship.

The supervisee is liberated from being the passive recipient of support and instead is positioned as an active participant in a supportive supervision process which in turn is keenly focused on the provision of a better service to clients Davys a, p. Supportive supervision encourages supervisees to express and explore their feelings and their work, not only so they will feel better but also in order that they may know their practice.

We will discuss the place of emotions more fully in Chapter 8. The relationship between supervision and counselling is often confused at this interface of supervision and support. The understanding of support to be a condition rather than a function of supervision in our view helps to differentiate between these two activities. But this will not be sufficient Yegdich demonstrates this confusion when she describes the boundary between supervision and therapy in nursing: It may be inadequate simply to proclaim that supervision is not therapy, as ultimately, it is the techniques utilized, not the stated goals that determine the form of supervision, or therapy Yegdich b, p.

The techniques of supervision do utilise the skills and interventions of practice but the goals of each are distinct and so shape how these techniques are employed. Fox provides a guide when he usefully describes the supervision relationship as therapeutic rather than therapy. He identifies two significant differences between therapy and supervision.

The first is personal change which, he states, is the primary goal of therapy but occurs only as a by-product of the supervisory process Fox , p. That is to say that the very process of exploration, reflection and learning which occurs in supervision which we discuss in detail in Chapter 5 can lead to transformational change and inevitably to personal growth. The intent of supervision is, however, to develop a practitioners professional not personal persona. The second difference arises out of the dictates of the professional and organisational standards, ethics and expectations which define the boundaries and accountabilities of supervision.

The supervisor, unlike the clinician, does not suspend critical judgement Fox , p. It is well reported in the literature that supervision is the appropriate place for practitioners to express and explore the wide range of emotional responses they experience in relation to their work Dwyer ; Lombardo, Milne and Proctor ; Smith ; Toasland This is both necessary and professionally responsible.

It is important that neither supervisors nor supervisees confuse personal problems with quite appropriate emotional reactions to highly painful work or unsatisfactory work conditions Hughes and Pengelly , p. Incorporating the above, we propose our representation of the functions of supervision in Figure 2. Based on Hughes and Pengellys model we have included on each side of the triangle, as a supervision task, the management of the tensions.

This task involves making connections between the sometimes conflicting functions and accountabilities of supervision. Support, the core condition of supervision, sits in the centre of the triangle and includes validation, respect, the creation of a safe environment, conflict management and anti-discriminatory practice.

Figure 2. Developmental models Developmental models of supervision can be traced to the s and s Bernard and Goodyear , p. Bernard and Goodyear identify three categories of developmental models: those that offer linear stages of development, those focused on process development models and finally lifespan developmental models , pp. The broad premise of these models is that practitioners follow a predictable, staged path of development and that supervisors require a range of approaches and skills to attend to each sequential stage as it is achieved by the supervisee Brown and Bourne ; Hawkins.

It is further implied that the process remains under the direction and control of the supervisor. Most models of practitioner development consist of three to five stages which describe the progression of practitioner competence from student or beginning practitioner to mature and expert practice. According to Butler, practitioner competence is related to experience. It is developed by people who have been working in the same job or area for two or three years, is marked by the ability both to plan and strategise for the long term and to analyse complex problems Butler , p.

Competence is, however, not the ultimate goal of his model. He describes five stages of performance development. The first novice rule governed leads to advanced beginner seeking the external answer to competent personal analysis of each situation to proficient having the big picture in focus and finally to expert tacit understanding Butler , pp. A novice practitioner will need rules and procedures to follow so that the performance can be done without experience, where as the competent practitioner centres his or her actions on a plan which is based on conscious, thoughtful, analytic reflection Butler , pp.

Expert practitioners, according to Butler have an accurate grasp of each situation and do not waste time on a large range of unfruitful, alternative diagnoses and solutions , p. They are expert because personal knowledge is continually renewed by the uniqueness of some encountered events. Beliefs and assumptions are evaluated against the changing context p. Developmental models have been subject to a variety of critiques, but, as Bernard and Goodyear , p.

Bernard and Goodyear conclude with the somewhat lukewarm endorsement probably the safest conclusion at this point is that there is limited evidence to support some aspects of stage development models p. More specific comment has been offered by others. Gardiner , p. Hawkins and Shohet present their developmental model with the warning that too rigid an application of the stages may blind the supervisor to the uniqueness of the supervisee, the supervision context and the supervision relationship.

Cultural bias and the associated assumptions implicit in developmental models must also be considered for the information they leave out, such as a persons experience due to race, class, gender or sexual orientation. Moffatt , p. Finally the influence on the supervision process of the supervisors own developmental stage cannot be overlooked Hawkins and Shohet , p. Nye offers a general and challenging critique of traditional models of development. Western models of development, she argues, typically describe a linear progression from novice to expert, from dependence to autonomy.

Value is placed on the autonomous expert practitioner. Nye suggests that such models limit learning to the realm of actual development as opposed to the potential development of which a practitioner is capable or has access to in collaboration , p. Competence in these models is equated with knowing whilst unknowing, associated with failure and shame, is often hidden or denied.

Pack argues that the potential for shame which leads to withdrawal from contact Pack a, p. This inappropriate and unsafe independence can result in clinical errors with dire consequences. Nye offers Vygotskys developmental learning theory as a helpful framework by which to revalue and recognise dependence on an other as essential to learning and development across the life course.

For Vygotsky, this is not a process with an end pointsomething to be outgrown[but] inevitable if learning and development are to occur , p. Despite these limitations, developmental approaches are useful to supervisors as they provide a framework for thinking about how practitioners develop skills and competence over time and offer strategies for working with a range of practitioner experience and competence.

Developmental models support supervisors to assess their supervisees against key professional competencies or dispositions and facilitate the growth of supervisees by enabling the supervisors to use interventions relevant to the supervisees stage of development. Davys has suggested that if the developmental framework is considered as a dynamic, as opposed to a mechanistic structure, it can provide a useful conceptual framework from which to understand the difference of both relationship and dialogue which occurs between supervisors and students on the one hand and, more particularly, supervisors and competent practitioners on the other Davys , p.

Loganbill et al. This Conceptual Model. Two transition points are identified where particular interventions can be applied. An important characteristic of this model is that a practitioner may cycle and recycle through these various stages at increasingly deeper levels p. This circularity is evident where similarities are drawn between the characteristics of a new practitioner and one who is burnt out and stuck. The identification of ten critical issues themes which recur in practice provides supervisors with a template against which to assess practitioner development and the ability to create a profile of the practitioners progress.

Such a profile will display areas where integration has been achieved and highlight those areas still to be developed.

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Reflective approaches to supervision A recent review of the supervision literature, which summarised the models and concepts used in supervision, found that 82 per cent of the studies reviewed described outcomes consistent with the experiential learning cycle of Kolb Milne et al. This, as Milne et al. Reflection, one of the four phases of experiential learning, is embedded as a process in many supervision approaches and has been considered an approach in its own right.

Fook and Gardner see a reflective approach as affirming other ways of knowing, such as personal experience and its interpretation, by supporting a holistic understanding of the complexity of experience that practitioners encounter in their day-to-day work. A reflective approach tends to focus on the whole experience and the many dimensions involved: cognitive elements; feeling elements; meanings and interpretations from different perspectives Fook and Gardener , p. Such an approach facilitates the discovery of the kinds of knowledge relevant to the unpredictability of modern day practice.

According to Fook and Askeland reflective learning is a process that seeks to unsettle assumptions in order to change practice and helps us to understand the connections between our public and private worlds , pp. Butlers Model of Human Action , pp. Two contexts, the social which comprises public knowledge and professional practice and the self comprising personal knowledge and world view are connected by reflection. In this model World view which influences all thoughts and actions is formed largely through an individuals culture and traditions.

And personal knowledge is knowledge and understanding attained through lived experience. Reflection, positioned at the centre of these contexts, is the open, active communication channel between the outside social context, and the inner self pp. World view, Butler notes, seeks to remain stable, however to be effective it must be continually revised p. We will return to consider how reflection is crucial in effective supervision in Chapter 5, where we discuss the Reflective Learning Model Davys and in Chapter 6 where we examine the role of the critically reflective supervisor.

Post modern approaches to supervision Post modernism, described by Ungar as a collection of interpretations made about the world that are constantly changing Ungar , p. Post modernists try to avoid imposing organising ideas about how the world and practice should be but rather focus on interpretations made by participants in social processes, through the language and narratives and the search for meaning.

Post modernism influences the helping professions in its advocacy of in-depth consideration of the language of the encounters between workers and clients. In post modern thinking there is a fundamental shift from the grand narrative of science and positivist approaches to an emphasis on the social construction of meaning in professional life. Post-modernist approaches focus on strengths rather than deficits, potential rather than constraints. In social constructivist practice it is held that there are multiple perspectives instead of universal truths Edwards and Chen , p.

The strengths-based approach which has been applied to the supervision process over the last two decades has been referred to by a variety of names such as solutionfocused and solution-oriented. All share the movement away from assessment of deficits and problems, characteristic of the medical model, to reflect a post modern view of human-systems interaction. Post modernism has had an influence on practice and supervision, and in particular stresses the importance of language in encounters Edwards and Chen Post modern supervision brings to the forefront issues of identity, stories and the language of supervision encounters.

Ungar asserts that supervisors bring into supervision relationships their identities as individuals, professionals and supervisors, along with the expression of different culture, gender, ability and so forth. Thus, starting with such a plurality of possible selves, when we encounter supervisees we have much to draw on and much to account for Ungar , p.

For Ungar, a post modern supervisor accentuates aspects of his or her identity in order to participate with supervisees in a co-construction of the supervisees as competent in their practice p. Collaborative relationships in supervision are also emphasised by Edwards and Chen In summary, post modern approaches imbue supervision with social constructionist ideas and: advocate careful consideration of the language of the encounters between workers and service users and workers and supervisors posit an approach to supervision which emphasises the way the participants in professional encounters construct meaning focus on strengths rather than deficits; potential for change rather than constraints and barriers to change acknowledge that there are multiple perspectives instead of universal truths are less hierarchical and focus on establishing collaborative approaches and co-constructing solutions avoid labelling people in ways that emphasise their differences as deficits or pathological in some way.

Social work and counselling in particular have strong links to social constructionist approaches in which the social circumstances and power relations are examined and where social justice ideals are central. Applied to supervision, a social constructionist perspective invites supervisors to shape. Noble and Irwin cite ODonoghue , whose earlier work explicitly explored the relationships and the process of supervision from a social justice perspective.

Noble and Irwin point to ODonoghues movement away from the more traditional atheoretical notions of the separate functions of supervision towards a social constructionist approach Noble and Irwin , p. In a recent publication Hair and ODonoghue note the differences between social constructionist and traditionalist approaches to supervision. These differences include: the recognition of plurality and diversity of knowledge; an emphasis on collaboration; the acknowledgment that supervisees have agency in a co-constructive process; the engagement in various relational forms such as dyadic, group, and in-session supervision; increased sensitivity to power and the politics of empowerment and disempowerment in supervision; and the explicit recognition of the influence of the social and cultural context within which supervision is immersed Hair and ODonoghue , p.

Hair and ODonoghues social constructionist perspective suggests supervisors include the following process: Ask curious questions about idiosyncratic descriptions of local community knowledge of the supervisees and clients, including the influence of dominant sociopolitical and economic contexts such as national laws, tribal expectations, and spiritual understandings p. Develop supervisory conversations which consider structural barriers such as poverty, legislative policies, and suitable housing alongside clients relational conflicts and distresses p. Acknowledge barriers to enable supervisors and supervisees weave multiple strands into a comprehensive, time-bound snapshot of culture p.

Ensure dialogue between supervisors and supervisees includes the exploration of their own cultural narratives over time p. Note that those educated in the dominant Western practices supervision require continual critical self-reflection about the use of taken-for-granted authority and privilege, so that domination over others is not silently reinforced pp.

Reflective questions encourage collaborative practice and, Hair and ODonoghue argue, perspectives that have been marginalised may surface and ideas and values can be prevented from forming rigid truth that inevitably means ascendancy for a select few persons and tyranny and oppression over others , p. Strengths-based supervision Strengths-based supervision has its roots in strengths-based practice, post modern counselling and family therapy practice and is underpinned by the same principles and ideas.

Isomorphism, which implies a similarity of process from one system to another, can be used to influence change. In strengths-based work, supervision centres on the development of supervisee-focused and directed supervision. Essentially this approach is a way of being with supervisees, where attention is given to power with rather than power over, and the environment is such that both supervisor and supervisee contribute their expertise to the relationship. Strengthsbased supervision seeks to address the hierarchical nature of supervision by favouring the co-construction of ideas with those supervised Edwards and Chen , p.

Reflective supervision

The key principles of strengths-based supervision are as follows: 1. All practitioners possess strengths that can be activated supervision is future focused and assumes success, rather than problem-saturated talk and the potential for further competence of the supervisee to build further competencies Presbury, Echterling and McKee Supervisees are experts about their own practice a supervisor encourages comfort with uncertainty and rather than assuming expertise, is open to the many ways people construct experience with a focus on utility what works Edwards and Chen , p.

Supervisors need to suspend their beliefs and assumptions Thomas and Davis , p. Supervisors support their supervisees goals Santa Rita and enable their strengths to be present in the work. This approach also incorporates and encourages talk about challenging issues in a safe process which is initially negotiated at the outset of the supervision contract. Supervisors need to be respectful, hopeful and the language used needs to avoid pathologising explanations Edwards and Chen , p.

The supervisor does not assume a normative approach and attempt to correct or dominate the supervisees aims or views but will work to create a strengths-based supervision with a future focus on potentials, possibilities and multiple perspectives. In doing so the supervisor models an ideal of practice that is service user driven and empowering. Edwards and Chen in their framework for strengths-based supervision see supervision moving to what they call co-vision and co-created vision , p.

Their experience in the supervision context will be carried over to the counselling context p. Edwards and Chen identify six supervision contexts for use in training counsellors: 1. Symmetrical voices: rather than provide a directive monologue where one narrative dominates, the supervisor supports the supervisee to explore options for working with client problems and emphasises the supervisees competence p. Competence focus: a supervisor must model the values they want the supervisee to demonstrate with their clients.

By focusing on strengths and successful interventions, supervisees will feel more competent. This is also reflected in the non-pathologising language used when talking about clients pp. Client-participated supervision: by including clients in the supervision or imagining they are present in the room, the tone of the supervision changes from one in which their deficits are analysed, to one of respect, curiosity and hopefulness p.

Unassuming transparency: supervisors will share their own professional struggles with their supervisees which enable them to more readily take on a not-knowing position p. The reflecting team: live supervision in therapy contexts where group input offers a resource for the generation of new ideas p. Tag-team group supervision format: a supervisee describes then role plays a service user they are working with, assigning roles to other members of their training class one from the rest of the class will take the role of counsellor until tagged by another observer who takes over from where the previous one left off.

This allows for different perspectives to inform discussion and reflection p. The solution-focused model of practice developed by de Shazer also applies the principle of isomorphism to the context of supervision Santa Rita , p. Solution-focused supervision has some distinctive features and is underpinned by four basic assumptions Santa Rita , pp. First, supervisees inevitably cooperate with their supervisors, and have a range of cooperative responses p.

Second, supervisors identify and amplify supervisee exceptional behaviour in order to highlight positive productive experience and the challenges present in the work p. A third assumption is that supervisors will only use interventions that have been effective previously and will actively try new approaches when supervision gets stuck p. Finally, solutions-focused supervision assumes that the supervisee will define the learning goals in the supervision process, with the supervisor acting as guide. Solution-focused supervision aims to encourage the supervisee to set small achievable goals for each session p.

A variety of interventions from solution-focused therapy are utilised in solution-focused supervision. Supervisors familiar with strengths-based practice will recognise these as similar to techniques in client work, refocused on the thinking of the practitioner and her or his experience. Supervisors use pre-suppositional language Presbury et al. Presbury et al. What has really worked well in your practice since we last met? Tell me about your best work this week?

As you get better at dealing with this situation how will you know you have become good enough? If you are feeling more confident what will you be doing differently? What would I notice if I was watching you working more confidently with these service users? How will you have changed? The beliefs underpinning these questions are that: there are always exceptions; there will be circumstances that hold promise of the alleviating problem and it is important to provide the opportunity and encouragement to recall a time of greater confidence Presbury et al.

Scaling questions de Shazer can be used to help supervisees determine their progression toward pre-identified time specific goals: At the onset of our supervision relationship you indicated a goal of being able to appropriately use authority and power when working with high risk situations, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating little progress toward this goal and 10 indicating completion of this goal, what score would you give yourself?

After the worker offers their estimate, 2, the supervisor says when you are on your way to 3 how will you know? What will have changed? When you are on your way to next highest number how will you know? What will be different about how you handle the situation? What will have changed in your practice? Using these techniques the changes identified become the supervision goals. To identify a time specific goal a supervisor might ask, a miracle question de Shazer , for example, if a miracle happened just before your next family meeting, and you have become the fantastic nurse you want to be, what would be the first thing you would notice suggesting your increased confidence and skills?

Developing strengths-based approaches: reflections for supervisors How do I notice and celebrate success with my supervisees? How do we talk about service users in supervision? What am I modelling about expectations of success and change? Does our supervision model match the way we approach our professional practice?

How often do we highlight what is working well and the times of exception to problems? What different kinds of power do I utilise in this relationship and what is the impact of this? How important is it for me to be expert? How do I invite feedback from supervisees and respond to it? How do we talk about challenging issues? How do I reflect on my own supervision process?

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What goals do I set for myself? Supervision and culture Both supervisor and supervisee take into the supervision process their own attributes and aspects of their personal identity: their gender, sexuality, age, educational background and culture, religious beliefs and values. Tsui and Ho have emphasised that within the context of supervision are ideas and practices determined by cultural considerations, the context of supervision and the prevailing culture informing it.

Tsui and Ho have challenged the traditional approach to supervision as being influenced most by the organisational context and drivers. Rather, they argue that any model of supervision is shaped by the cultural system in which it occurs. Beddoe and Egan note that the influence of culture is relevant to consideration of agency purpose and goals, the supervisors roles, style and skills, the supervisees working experience, training, and the emotional needs including those of service users Beddoe and Egan , p.

Active recognition of the practitioners culture is best considered as an essential condition and function of effective supervision, as this legitimises and anticipates the tensions which will arise from different value bases and perspectives within the work context Davys a, p. In New Zealand the practice of cultural supervision has developed in recent decades Eruera ; Mafileo and Sua-Hawkins but this is not the same as the recognition of culture within the supervision process and relationship.

Rather it represents a new and independent contribution to supervision Davys a, p. In New Zealand, where development of cultural supervision is being pioneered Hair and ODonoghue , Erueras work articulates the uniqueness of some of these developments in differentiating kaupapa supervision representing a Maori world view from cultural supervision. Kaupapa supervision can be defined as: an agreed supervision relationship by Maori for Maori with a purpose of enabling the supervisee to achieve safe and accountable practice, cultural development and self-care according to the philosophy, principles and practices derived from a Maori world view.

Eruera , p. Developing local models has been an important response to the social inequalities experienced by oppressed communities and involves the active engagement of Maori and Pasifika [Pacific Island nations] social workers in the elevation of their own indigenous ways of knowing. These configurations demonstrate how dominant discourse and emerging local narratives intersect to shape culturally relevant practice Hair and ODonoghue , p. Cultural supervision practice such as described by Eruera supports practitioners with supervision grounded in spiritual, traditional and theoretical understandings that are congruent with their worldview.

Culture becomes the overarching environment of supervision Beddoe and Egan , p. Cultural supervision is thus linked to personal, family, community, cultural and professional domains Cultural supervision is also about supporting Pasifika social workers to operate in predominantly non-Pasifika contexts Mafileo and Sua-Hawkins , p.

Arkin identifies two common tendencies in attempting to meet the challenges of cross cultural supervision of students that have utility in considering all supervision: minimising cultural differences and magnifying. Arkin argues for the training of supervisors in multicultural competency based on four dimensions: 1. The knowledge dimensions facts and information about the political, social and economic historyresearch, world views, cultural codes, differences in verbal and non verbal language and emotional expression p.

The relationship dimension this requires examination of supervision in cultural termscultural identification, expectations, criticism, initiative, passivity, roles p. The skills dimension it is important to develop the ability to intervene in a culturally sensitive way without detracting from the quality of the professional trainingthe culture must be legitimized by showing a keen interest in it and by respecting the practitioners own cultural identity and group membership p. There are limitations in multicultural approaches to supervision. Multicultural approaches dont always address power and authority issues nor the structural inequalities, roles and status of minority cultures within mainstream institutions.

There is often an assumption that the supervisors knowledge of practice is superior, and the biases of Western thinking may be underemphasised. There are often assumptions that the minority person is always the student or supervisee what if he or she is the supervisor? How does this impact on power in the relationship if there are hidden agendas or racist assumptions? What strategies could be used to reduce these oppressive elements of the multicultural approach?

Reflective Supervision in Relationship-Based Organizations

Table 2. Criteria for evaluating approaches to supervision Given the importance of considering the social and cultural contexts and practices of supervision that we have explored in the preceding sections of this chapter, it is useful to consider the development of criteria for evaluation.

Whatever approach to supervision is chosen it will be influenced by professional and personal preference, cultural considerations, and the context within which supervision takes place, whether this be large governmental agencies, smaller non-governmental organisations, or private practice. The following structure may provide a useful starter guide:.

Facilitates supervisees to find solutions within themselves through reflection on their experience and actions. Trust and safety Collaborative Follows the steps of action reflection cycle. Based on supervisees actual experiences and responses past, present and future Adult learning theory, reflective practice and experiential learning. Assists supervisees to move from novice to expert Recognises key points of transition between stages. Uses a range of interventions suited to supervisee developmental stages and transitions between stages.

Close adherence to processes which are culturally explicit, i. Supports supervisees through a process that is grounded in spiritual, traditional and theoretical understandings that are congruent with their world view. Post modernist ideas about language and meaning Social constructionism Isomorphism. Based on supervisees reality Personal, family, community, cultural and professional domains.

Language critical to address strengths Isomorphism requires supervisor to model strengths-based interventions. Facilitates supervisees to find solutions within themselves based on their existing strengths and prior positive experiences. Mainly supervisees agenda Cyclic process of reflection, exploration, analysis, experimentation and review Can be applied to any profession Collaborative to develop supervisees self-awareness and learning. Uses past and present to measure change and access experience and to bring to the fore for future action and understanding.

Supervisor led with input from supervisee 5 interventions: prescriptive, confrontative, conceptual, catalytic and facilitative. Assumption of homogeneity Traditional Western determination of stages of development. Stages are recycled over time at deeper levels as practitioners develop in their experience and competence.

Reflects cultural practices and understandings of participants who share a similar world view. Understanding of social constructionism of ideas, values and beliefs that underpin practice. Time is imbued with cultural meaning and often linked to traditional knowledge and ways of knowing. Homogeneity is important and deliberate Status is recognised Recognises impact of dominant culture Isomorphic. Validation and support for cultural identity Explicit links to cultural and social development.

Collaborative: reframing to Consideration of the power empower supervisee and raise of the dominant culture self-efficacy and the position of cultural minorities May include explicit hierarchy related to cultural roles and responsibilities. Supervisees agenda Construction of narratives based on exploration of strengths and reframing old stories. In Table 2. Supervision: an overview This chapter has explored the functions, tasks and core conditions of supervision as well as various approaches and models.

The following is a list of the characteristics of supervision which have been shared by the participants of our supervision training courses. It is not definitive nor exhaustive but rather a reflection of the complexity of this very personal professional practice. It is an interpersonal, negotiated relationship in which both parties have rights and responsibilities. It is accountable to the organisation, the profession and to the service user.

It is ethical. It is confidential. It is ongoing and regular a process rather than an event. It has boundaries. It has power dynamics. It is a forum for reflection, learning and professional growth. It is educative but not education. It is managerial in that it relates to organisational standards and policies but it is not management or appraisal. It is supportive but it is not counselling. It is a safe place to express and explore emotion. Supervision provides the chance to stand apart from our work and to reflect on what we do, the context of what we do and the impact that this has on ourselves as people in particular, as professional people.

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A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision
A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision
A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision
A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision
A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision
A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision A Different Wisdom: Reflections on Supervision in Practice, Guide to Supervision

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