Supervision is a key part of psychotherapeutic work and is increasingly being used by senior management to understand and improve interpersonal dynamics in the workplace.
There are numerous definitions of what supervision is and the following combination seems to sum it up well:
Supervision provides an opportunity for the student to capture the essence of the
psychotherapeutic process as it is articulated and modelled by the supervisor, and
to recreate it in the counselling relationship.
Supervision is a working alliance between a supervisor and a worker or workers in
which the worker can reflect on herself in her working situation by giving an account
of her work and receiving feedback and where appropriate guidance and appraisal.
The object of this alliance is to maximise the competence of the worker in providing
a helping service.
(Inskipp and Proctor, 1988: 4)
Supervision is that part of the overall training of mental health professionals
that deals with modifying their actual in-therapy behaviours
Supervision is an intensive, interpersonally focused one-to-one relationship in
which one person is designated to facilitate the development of therapeutic competence
in the other person.
(Loganbill, Hardy & Delworth, 1982:4)
An intervention provided by a more senior member of a profession to a more junior
member or members of that same profession. This relationship is evaluative, extends
over time, and has simultaneous purposes of enhancing the professional functioning
of the more junior person(s), monitoring the quality of professional services offered
to the client(s), she, he, or they see(s), and serving as a gatekeeper of those
who are to enter the particular profession.
(Bernard & Goodyear, 1998:6)
Andrew is a qualified supervisor who utilises a range of models and work in a collaborative way with supervisees. His aim is to develop a supervisory alliance where the supervisee feels safe to explore their practise "warts and all". His premise is that we learn more from mistakes than successes and that is the key to safe & effective therapy.
As Jung said, "The psychotherapist learns little or nothing from successes. They mainly confirm in him his mistakes, while his failures on the other hand, are priceless experiences in that they not only open a deeper truth, but force him to change his views & methods."