Supervision, supervision, supervision!!!
The guidance given by training bodies is often vague – for example, it may say with sufficient experience you can also begin working as independent practitioners in private practice.
What is sufficient experience – and how do we get it.
Over the years I’ve worked with many therapists who are starting up in private practice. And I’ve identified 4 elements to ‘sufficient experience’ and perhaps they weren’t the obvious ones.
I believe that if you have the 4 elements in place, you can start ethically and safely in private practice.
I can never have enough supervision, group peer and one to one. I so wish I had more time and more money, and I would have perpetual Supervision – which I wouldn’t because too much is as potential a problem as too little.
When I trained as a Counsellor it was from a background of work in big business and I’d had experience of good – and not so good – managers. And their behaviour completely influenced how I thrived in my job.
Moving into counselling, I assumed – I know, I know – never assume – that Supervision was the same as management.
And I was blown away by my experience of Supervision – being gently challenged and supported and encouraged – well, just an awesome process.
I quickly saw here was a space where Unconditional Positive Regard was modelled in buckets (if you can have buckets of UPR) which informed the safety and effectiveness of my client work, and my growth as a counsellor.
Supervision is a cost and it’s one that we need to invest in when we start in Private Practice.
I think at the beginning of our career, we need one to one supervision at a higher ratio, I do see colleagues who choose peer supervision only and I worry about this.
I wonder if a peer supervision option is driven by cost, it’s very expensive to train and I wonder if colleagues have peer supervision to save money, and I think it’s a false saving – colleagues can invest in themselves with good one to one supervision and I use invest deliberately.
It could be we need to change or get another Supervisor when we start in Private Practice – I think it is important that our Supervisor is experienced in PP as there are tensions between the business of therapy and therapeutic work that can be lessened with support from experienced Supervisor.