I offer clinical supervision to CBT therapists (including trainees) and Counsellors.
I believe that as important as methods may be, the most practical thing we can achieve in any kind of work is an insight into what is happening inside us as we do it. In providing supervision I also embrace the concept of restorative supervision (Wallbank,2007). The key idea is that when clinicians feel supported and stronger and they also develop a 'greater thinking capacity' and they interact more positively with their clients (Trueland, 2013, 21)
Three major themes for supervision:
1) If you are training in CBT, your supervision will be structured and we will focus on the CTS-R competencies described in the protocol.
2) Supervision as a collaborative exploration, for example through Socratic questioning, to support reflective learning and help identify ways to improve your competencies,
3) Modeling and role-play to facilitate learning through experience-based training.
Self-reflection in therapy is a continuous process which is essential for the establishment of a therapeutic relationship, the professional growth of the therapist, and the ongoing development of therapeutic skills.
Recognizing one's own emotions is a basic skill from which other skills necessary for both therapy and emotional self-control stem.
Therapists who are skilled in understanding their inner emotions during their encounters with clients are better at making decisions, distinguishing their needs from their clients' needs, understanding transference and countertransference, and considering an optimal response at any time during a session. These therapists know how to handle their feelings so that these correspond with the situation and their response is in the client's best interest. The ability to self-reflect increases the ability to perceive other people's inner emotions, kindles altruism and increases attunement to subtle signals indicating what others need or want.
Self-reflection may be practised by the therapists themselves using traditional cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, or it may be learned in the course of supervision.
If therapists are unable to recognise their own thoughts and feelings, or the effects of their attitudes in a therapeutic situation, then they are helpless against these thoughts and feelings, which may control the therapist's behaviour to the disadvantage of the client and therapist alike.