Therapy Supervision Dublin: The single most important dimension of supervision between a supervisor and supervisee is ‘parallel process’. This is where the relationship dynamics between client and therapist literally appear in the supervision room. The supervisor becomes the therapist and the supervisee becomes the client.
The supervisee literally, but unconsciously, acts like the client to show the supervisor what is happening in the relationship. The origin of this is from our own childhood and mimicry at play. It is the supervisee’s out of character behaviour that really shows who the client is.
This process externalises the client for the supervisee and he/she can look at the client with fresh eyes and a sense of where the therapeutic relationship needs to go.
Parallel process is the unconscious parallel of the therapist/client relationship. The supervisor becomes the therapist and the supervisee literally becomes the client; a space for the supervisee to walk in their client’s shoes for a time, register how that feels and take the learning from it.
The supervisee will unconsciously mimic the client to show the supervisor how the client is in a session. The origin of this is from our own childhood and mimicry at play. Top supervision expert Mattinson said: ‘Children play hardest at games and repeat those games most often when they are trying to come to terms with some experience which is painful or are trying to master the anxiety aroused’. Therefore, in supervision, the supervisee ‘in his attempt to describe what he cannot put into words, he unconsciously mimics.’ (Mattinson).
For a supervisor, it is the behaviour out of character with the supervisee that identifies the client and their behaviours.
Therapy Supervision Dublin
For a wider description of how therapy supervision works, and to see my own availability for supervision, check out http://www.thomaslarkin.ie/counselling-supervision-dublin/