Vanessa Gajewska MSc, BACP Snr. Accred Supervisor & Counsellor, APSATS Trained
As a well established BACP Snr Accredited Supervisor the values, knowledge and beliefs that inform my practice arise from my own experiences of supervision as well as extensive training and research in this field. My values support me modelling sound, professionally regulated, non-oppressive practice where there can be trust, respect for difference and sensitivity towards diversity as well as a constructive approach to the inherent power dynamics to minimise the potential for abuse. I am humbled by the influence and degree of responsibility in being a supervisor and remain mindful and respectful of this in my work. In upholding my duties the practice of supervision is inseparable from the application of ethical principles congruent with my moral philosophy and I actively reference the BACP Ethical Framework, my own supervisor and the BACP Ethical Helpline to support the work I do.
While overseeing the safety and efficacy of the client work my intention is to develop the capacity and potential of supervisees; and rather than expecting them to be more like me, I work to facilitate them being more of themselves. My aim is to support their professional practice to develop their own style of working as appropriate for each individual. This means creating and maintaining a space where successes can be celebrated and, by removing blame from the frame, concerns and errors brought without fear of censure.
My belief in the primacy of the relationship and working alliance as fundamental to the outcomes of the supervisory process is pivotal to the work I do and one way of addressing the power differential. By assuming nothing, with a lively curiosity I work as a co-enquirer/participant-observer. This involves balancing support and challenge while working un-defensively and being able to recognise my own limitations rather that presenting as an ‘expert’. In this I am supported by studies (Loganbill, Hardy, Delworth 1982, Weaks 2002 and Worthen, McNeill 1996) which attribute the importance of the relationship and working alliance to the success of creating and maintaining the levels of trust, safety and respect essential for the supervisory process to flourish and its tasks addressed.
I value the wider counselling community and the infrastructure provided by the supervision network. In the commonality of this activity we are all connected - regardless of experience/stage of development or standing we all require supervision, and all need to be accountable for our actions. This fits with my egalitarian principles, sense of fairness and my respect for supervision with its fundamental attention to the safety and wellbeing of supervisees and clients.
My collaborative, inter-active ethos is informed by Gilbert and Evans’ integrative relational theory wherein the centrality of ‘relationship’ provides ‘a common point’ from which I work to engage with the: multiple tasks of supervision, power dynamics, theoretical difference all within a variety of contexts. I currently describe my relational model of supervision as integrative and humanistically-spirited with awareness of: developmental stages, learning styles, systems, parallel process, transference, and an intersubjective focus on the interactional field between supervisor and supervisee.
I have specific interest in: working within organisations and workplace cultures, supporting and mentoring therapists in the development of successful private practice as well as working with groups.
I aim to offer:
* An empathic, valuing presence
* Myself as a resource - my skills and experience and a willingness to
engage with and find out what I don't know
* Congruence and immediacy with supportive challenge
* Attention to the overall wellbeing of those I work with
* Myself as a reflective co-enquirer, to support learning, development and
trust in one's own experience and trust in the client's process
* Consultative input to assist the development and monitoring of practice and relationships in the workplace
* A passionate interest and commitment to ongoing learning and develpment through supervision