Supervision for counsellors helps develop their skills as a therapist as well as protecting them from the emotional impact of their work. A counsellor literally is their work so developing and protecting themselves is key.
The fundamental task of counsellor supervision, according to Patrick Casement, is the development of the internal supervisor within the supervisee. He describes it:
“Therapists need to acquire their own capacity for spontaneous reflection within the session…They can thus learn to watch themselves as well as the patient…(from) the mental space within which the internal supervisor can begin to operate…I believe that the process of supervision should develop into a dialogue between the external supervisor and the internal supervisor. It is through this that therapists develop the more autonomous functioning expected of them.”
In this way, the supervisee develops the self awareness around their own work both to enhance their skill and to register the emotional impact a client is having on them.
Supervision for counsellors is a space to process the feelings left in them from their clients as well as seeing what it triggered in them personally. Doing this protects the counsellor from burnout and stress. Burnout comes from being overloaded and can lead to ‘compassion fatigue’. So counsellor supervision is a restorative process to replenish emotional energy through debriefing and emotional containment.
Supervision for Counsellors Dublin
For a wider description of how counsellor supervision works, and to see my own availability for supervision, check out http://www.thomaslarkin.ie/counselling-supervision-dublin/