The Recommended Aims and Principles of Supervisor Training

The aims of the supervisor training are to support the trainee in becoming competent at a number of different skills to allow him/her to provide effective clinical supervision for counsellors and talking therapists who work with a range of clients. These skills may include:

  • The use of a professional supervision framework which itself works within a legal and ethical framework
  • Being able to manage the therapeutic relationship and the counselling supervision relationship
  • Apply and supervise the application of a diversity understandings to the therapeutic process
  • Become familiar with and be able to effectively implement a user-centred approach to therapeutic counselling, including the ability to manage any supervisee’s need to manage client vulnerability
  • Ensure the application of personal awareness and understanding as well as developing self-reflection skills, both for themselves and able to support that process in supervisees

Page and Wosket (2001) outline 5 broad aims in reference to the BACP guidelines for accreditation of supervisors for their recommendations of supervisor training:

  1. To gain an understanding of various theories, models and approaches
  2. To develop and practice a range of interventions and feedback skills relevant to the functions of supervision. This entails creating the opportunity to experiment, make mistakes, test out a style and take risks
  3. To increase awareness of personal and professional strengths and areas for development
  4. To enable the supervisor to develop their own informed style and approach to supervision, integrating theory and practice
  5. To develop awareness of ethical and professional practice issues to enhance the professional identity of the supervisor and instil good standards and practice.

The principles of supervisor training include a focus on self-awareness, the development of authority, presence and impact, the teaching of skills in a lively way with a diverse range of engaging methods; provision of  opportunities to practice and receive feedback, use of ‘just in time’ and ‘real time’ learning. Supervisor training aims to offer tools to encourage an atmosphere of safety and enable intentional ‘play’ in supervision so that the supervisees’ concerns are non-judgementally explored, stuck feelings are released and necessary issues, addressed. (Hawkins & Shohet, 2006) (Henderson, P, 2009)

What a New Hypnotherapy Supervisor May Include in a Learning Needs Assessment

According to Hawkins and Shohet (2006) a new hypnotherapy supervisor might want to carry out a self-assessment of their learning needs based on the following categories:

1. Supervision Intervention

Understanding the purpose, the boundaries and the type of supervision.  A new supervisor may want to take the assessment further in this regard by following Heron’s (1975) six category intervention analysis which are split in to two groups (“Authoritative Interventions” and “Facilitative Interventions”).

2. Supervision Management Skills

These may include the need to explain the purpose of Supervision and negotiate contracts and maintaining any agreed boundaries.

3. Traits or Qualities

The new Supervisor may want to assess whether they have the necessary commitment, and is able to: use authority appropriately; be sensitive and adaptable; use humour and have an ethical maturity.

In Addition

They should also have a commitment to ongoing development that includes meeting their own supervision and CPD requirements, able to recognise their own limitations and can accept feedback.

The new supervisor should also assess their own exploration of empathy and how this can be expressed during supervision.

There are other approaches that can be taken to the self-assessment.  Including those identified by Ronnestad & Skovholt (2003) and Clarkson & Gilbert (1991).  It is also useful for the new supervisor to have an understanding of their own learning style. Kolb provides a useful four stage learning styles model.