Sharing one’s therapy work with a supervisor or with a supervision group can be very vulnerable. When working with interns and trainees, my first objective is to help them manage their anxiety, so that intuition and inspiration can emerge. Thus I like to create a supervision environment that is like a greenhouse; full of light, water and nutrients, yet protected from the elements.
I like to promote self-awareness and mindfulness. That includes working through personal difficulties and shedding light on blind spots. I am suspicious of pathology and theory, yet willing to discuss these when they serve the work. I look for meaning on various levels, including the spiritual and the trans-personal, and like to share these explorations in supervision.
At times I can be probing and challenging, yet my ultimate concern is to encourage growth, confidence and the emergence of the supervisee’s unique gifts as a clinician. I trust the part of the client that knows the path towards healing and the part of the supervisee that can step out of the way and allow healing to occur.
Often I ask the following of myself and of the supervisees:
Is this therapy in the spirit of the Tao?
Is this therapy inspired by love?
Group supervision is an excellent complement to individual supervision. The group itself becomes the supervisor. Having multiple viewpoints encourages the intern to arrive at their own individual understanding and approach. Having a matrix of relationships with peers increases the emotional “temperature” and can lead to more creative and multidimensional insights and approaches. The cases being discussed become clients of the group as a whole and of each member of the group individually. In some way, they benefit from the healing gifts of every group member.