Supervision is now viewed as a profession in its own right and is seen as a lifelong commitment for therapists who are involved in one to one or group therapy.  Due to demands of clinical governance, professional registration and accreditation requirements supervision has changed from a personal choice to a requirement for therapists.  Supervision involves finding a fellow professional who has sufficient knowledge and experience to support you in your work with clients. Whether a student, or qualified therapist, there is now an expectation that therapists have regular supervision to develop and maintain adequate standards of practice.

Supervision is often clinical in nature for assistance in assessing and making sense of client difficulties and the therapeutic relationship. During a therapy session therapists may experience new or unusual experiences which may have an impact on their therapy.  The sharing of the emotional impact of our work enables us to gain perspective on how personal values, attitudes and belief systems impact on the therapeutic relationship.  Supervision can also aid in maintaining a personal support for intrapersonal stability in the therapist.  This then enables therapists in the provision of the interpersonal stability, which is crucial in the maintenance of a strong therapeutic alliance. 

Like therapy, an important decision you will make is your choice of supervisor.  Some areas to consider when making this decision are; knowledge in your model of therapy, experience in your field of work, qualifications, compatibility, reputation and availability.  It is perfectly acceptable to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your expectations and requirements.   

Individual CBT Supervision

Demands of British Association of Behavioural Cognitive Psychotherapist (BABCP), advise therapists practicing in CBT should be undertaking specific CBT supervision.  It is imperative for individuals working toward accreditation to ensure their supervisor has adequate credentials that can support them to reach their goal of accreditation.  

“The goal of CBT supervision is to help therapists adopt the philosophy of CBT as the basic approach for changing client’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviours.  A secondary goal is to teach therapists specific techniques. The seven major features of CBT and their implications for supervision are described: therapy as a meaning-making process: systematic and goal directed therapy; practicing and experiencing; therapy as a collaborative effort; person focused therapy, the therapist as a focus of change and development” 

(Rosenbaum & Ronen, 2009)

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