Why is Supervision important?
If you’ve never had access to good supervision, you might well be wondering what the fuss is all about. Apart from it being embedded in a psychologists registration standards, as stipulated by the PsyBA. Accessing supervision is a key part in making sure we remain fit for practice for the next 12 months.
Supervision, for quite a chunk of us, is offered as part of the everyday experience of working with a team of psychologists. Chats with colleagues about cases, calling on your manager for a ‘quick question’ or debriefing during lunch time are all seen to be ‘supervision’. But how many times have these one-off conversations, or line management queries, or whinge-sessions left you with a clinical goal, or a pathway to follow, or feeling hopeful and supported?
Hm, yeah….thought so.
Supervision for psychologists is vital for survival in the job. We are exposed to helplessness, hopelessness, grief, depression, fear, anger and trauma on a daily basis. Rarely do we get to work with the psychologically healthy. Yet we have all chosen to sit in a room with the worst examples of humanity, we listen openly and willingly to stories of hurt, harm and harrow. We encourage people to come to us so we can guide them to a path of healing and frequently spout the advantages of “talking therapies” and yet, we very rarely think of doing the same for ourselves.
Supervision with a trusted colleague or external professional facilitates your client’s path to health and well-being. By being a psychologist who engages with reflective practise and seeks collegiate support for difficult issues ensures you are working to the best of your ability to help your client heal. Supervision provides a safe and supportive environment to talk about how you as a clinician (and as a person with their own life experiences – good and bad) can support your clients. Supervision is a non-judgemental space where you can feel free to be vulnerable in order for true professional development to occur.
Being a psychologist is a life-long learning experience. Access to supervision of high quality, with a trusted other who can provide a safe space for open, honest and vulnerable discussion will truly set you on a path for continued professional and personal development.