While being a therapist can be hugely rewarding, it can also be quite isolating. Most of us work from home or rent space in a clinic, so we don’t have regular colleagues to bounce ideas off, or reassure or advise us when we have questions.
Supervision is well established within caring professions such as counselling, osteopathy, psychotherapy, nursing and social work. However, it is a concept that is unfamiliar to many therapists working within the holistic healthcare arena. While we follow a path into holistic therapy with the aim of wanting to help and improve the health and wellbeing of other people, it is easy for us to forget to take time for ourselves.
The majority of therapists, such as Reflexologists and Bowen Therapists, tend to lone work and rarely have opportunity to talk to other therapists in a similar position, and share experiences. In today’s society, where the use of social media is so common place, online groups and forums have attempted to plug this gap. However, chances are that many of the questions and comments posted in these groups may seem irrelevant to you, or just not resonate with the kind of therapist that you are.
So, what exactly is Supervision, and how can it help you?
Supervision is a safe space where the therapist can bring themselves and their client cases for reflection, consideration, and support. It allows the therapist to share their thoughts and feelings about their work, including their frustrations and anxieties, as well as celebrating what has gone well and their achievements. This process is supportive, non-judgemental and allows the therapist to grow.
A supervision session is typically a structured 1:1 meeting lasting 1-1.5hrs, usually face to face but online via Skype or Facetime is equally helpful. The advantage of meeting face to face is it allows us to chat over a cuppa! The sessions are structured to ensure you get the most from your time, and may include discussion of any client cases you wish to bring, advice and support, professional development and goal setting.
You might have questions about a client and why they respond as they do, or indeed, why aren’t they responding to treatment in the way that you hoped? Those clients that leave you feeling emotionally drained? Let’s talk about why that is, and help you learn what you can do about it. You’ve just had an amazing session with someone who thinks you are the best therapist they have ever had, but there is no one to shout about this with who understands, and you’re left excitedly babbling to your partner who is supportive but doesn’t really get it. Share that success here!
Or you’re feeling stuck with your business and social media, and aren’t really sure what you can do differently. Or social media fills you with anxiety, or boredom, so you avoid spending too much time on it. Let’s make sure you are happy with the basics, so you can target a few strategic posts which can help with your marketing without spending too much time stressing about it.
Supervision isn’t necessarily about getting all the answers, its about time and space to reflect and explore, as well as receive guidance. And if I don’t know the answer to something that comes up in our session, chances are that I know someone else who can help!
There are many benefits of a 1:1 session to discuss any issues around clients / treatments, seek advice and support, and share successes. It can help keep you focussed, and provide structure between sessions which can help boost confidence, keep you accountable and support you to grow your business and your client base.
Supervision can be incorporated into your schedule regularly – monthly or bimonthly can work really well. Or a session or two can be arranged as and when you feel you need it.
Ultimately, if you are a happier, more confident therapist, you will pass this on to your clients who will then benefit in terms of their own treatment experience and wellbeing.
What I Can Offer You
I have many year’s experience offering Clinical Supervision to a range of health care professionals from my previous role as a Mental Health Nurse. In addition, I have been a Holistic Therapist for 15 years, and run a successful business specialising in Bowen Technique and Reflexology. I know how isolating it can be when you are a therapist out there on your own, and how energised you can feel when you have had a good talk with a therapist who understands the same issues and problems that you face when dealing with clients, and running a small business. I also know first-hand how valuable a good supervisor can be!
If you are interested and would like to know more about how I could help you, then please do just get in touch!