My supervision is primarily Gestalt as that was my original training. However I would say my model is integrative using mostly (but not only) humanistic models.
If working in a group all approaches and models of counselling that are brought into supervision can be integrated and used by the counsellors when appropriate. All different modalities of counselling are given the same acceptance, space and time to be worked with. If you are a trainee counsellor and working towards an exam, I will make sure you receive the appropriate adjustment to the theoretical approach needed for your written work.
The style I sometimes use is based on a gestalt method by Gaie Houston who ran the training course where I qualified at the Gestalt Centre London. She uses three distinct areas of supervision which she calls: Policing Plumbing and Poetry.
Which is to say all the boundary monitoring, which makes sure that there is emotionally and physically a clean and tidy place where supervision and counselling can happen. Also safety, contracting and matters concerning the policies and procedures of any agencies or unions involved.
The How To.....Teaching and competent areas. Having a proper knowledge of more than one theory of how people work. Being competent with some of the tools of the trade and having some good methods of working. Monitoring attitude, mind-set, reliability, theory application etc. These are some of the parts of the ordinary plumbing competence.
The working alliance: "It is the creation of that free space where the supervisee let's herself 'tell back' so that she hears herself afresh and can invent in imagination how she can best be for her client in their next session" Gaie Houston (Counselling & supervision 1995)
Poetry is the creativity, the self expression, the risk taking, the love and compassion. The relationship and all that moves, changes and creates between the therapist and client,
My place as a supervisor when working with a group is I believe to manage the group, but also be part of the group. That is to say I am part of the group but I manage the needs of every individual and manage the dynamics, timing and needs within the group.
We can form together a group contract that can be changed when required. I will always allot a fair space of time for each person to present their clients and allow time for feedback from myself and the group.
We as a group could explore ideas for creative experiments. I will recommend some ideas and you might have some of your own you would like to explore. Sometimes you might feel challenged by this kind of experiment but we can always adjust ideas to suit everyone.
I encourage you at all times to feel that you can be open and honest and bring to light any areas of concern you might have. I hope you can express any fears openly and are able to say what you want from supervision at all times, also what you would like to achieve in your on going work.
As a Gestalt therapist I feel strongly about helping the development of 'Awareness', that is awareness of you and your own process (the self supervisor), and awareness of the process between yourself and your client.
Awareness in supervision is of course equally important, the relationship that is in place between the client, the counsellor and the supervisor. A true and aware triangle of a therapeutic alliance.
A few more pointers for supervision.
1. Taking responsibility (response-ability). Such as: Taking ownership of statements.
2. Noticing and sharing your own creativity and growth.
3.. Being aware when there is a need to challenge, or be challenged, it could be by taking risks or trying something for the first time.
4. Accepting praise for your good work and accepting constructive feedback knowing it is given for your benefit for you to reflect on.
5. Remembering you are unique, and the way you work will not be necessarily be like everybody else.
6. Immediacy: Noticing and reflecting what is happening in the moment to moment around you, and trying to express this rather than leaving, if there is any, unfinished business to sit unresolved.
My own values that I try to hold: To be caring, genuine, non judgemental, brave, grounded, consistent and professional. As a supervisor I believe it is important I allow myself to be transparent enough to show my humanity, to lessen any power issues and to enable that you sense we are working together rather than me being totally the authorative figure.
The relationship between myself and my supervisee is vital. It is the trust and the feeling of being safe and respected, the holding, caring, recognition, compassion and the sheer enjoyment that can happen in supervision that makes that relationship so special.
Policies and Procedures:
I follow the BACP guidelines for ethics boundaries and safety procedures in my professional practise.
Individual: one hour £70. Extra half hour £80
Groups: Up to 4 people: 2 people £70. 3 people £80. 4 people £100.
For extra half hour add £5 each person.
Post Graduate Diploma Gestalt Psychotherapy Studies
Advanced Diploma Humanistic Counselling
Diploma Gestalt Supervision
Member British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists.
Please contact me for more information: