Why supervision is essential for the practising therapist
By its very nature therapy makes demands upon therapists, who may become over-involved, ignore some important point, become confused as to what is taking place with a particular client, or have underlying doubts about their own usefulness. It is difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to be objective about one’s therapy and the opportunity to discuss it in confidence with a suitable person is invaluable. Good therapy also requires the therapist to relate practice to theory and theory to practice. Supervision can help the therapist to evolve practice, and in this sense is one aspect of continued training.
Through the supervision process the supervisor can ensure that the therapist is addressing the needs of the client, can monitor the relationship between the therapist and client to maximise the therapeutic effectiveness of the relationship, and ensure that ethical standards are adhered to throughout the therapy process. Though not concerned primarily with training, personal therapy, or line management, supervisors will encourage and facilitate the ongoing self-development, continued learning and self-monitoring of the therapist.
If you are a client, feel free to ask your therapist about their supervision arrangements. If you get a less than enthusiastic answer this will suggest that the therapist does not have effective supervision, or that they do not take it seriously!