Consultative Supervision

What is Consultative Supervision?

Consultative Supervision is for counsellor's, psychotherapist or professional the support uses the services of another counsellor or psychotherapist or professional to review their work with clients, their professional development, and often their personal development as well. Supervision is a professional service, rather than a managerial role, and for counsellors who work in institutions, supervision and management will normally be entirely separate. The supervisor acts not as a 'boss', but as a consultant.

Some counsellors also use group supervision, in which several therapists confer on each other's work, although ordinarily this is used in addition to individual supervision, rather than as a replacement.

Why is Consultative Supervision Needed?

Supervision exists for the following reasons

  • to protect clients, and
  • to improve the ability of counsellors to provide value to their clients.

Supervision protects clients by involving an impartial third party in the work of a counsellor and client, helping to reduce the risk of serious oversight and helping the counsellor concerned to reflect on their own feelings, thoughts, behaviour and general approach with the client.

What Does Supervision Mean for Confidentiality?

The practice of supervision means that many details provided by clients are shared with people other than the counsellor concerned. However, overall client confidentiality is still safeguarded because:

  • individually identifying information (such as full name) is not revealed, and
  • information shared in supervision is itself protected under a contract of confidentiality and normally may not be shared outside the supervision.

How Consultative Supervision is delivered

As a supervisor I work to the BACP code of practice and incorporate Carroll's 7 Generic Tasks of Supervision which covers the following criteria:

  1. Individual Training needs
  2. Organisational Training needs
  3. The Counselling Task of Supervision
  4. The Consultative Task of Supervision
  5. The Evaluation Task of Supervision
  6. Monitoring Professional/ethical issues of Supervision
  7. The Administration Task of Supervision

Supervision can also be broken down into the following areas:

  • Enable insight
  • Case Management
  • Monitor and Evaluate
  • Support and challenge
  • Evaluate theory and practice
  • Facilitate personal development
  • Monitor blockages and blind spots
  • Facilitate professional development
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses
  • Monitor and evaluate content and process.
  • Monitor fitness to practice and observe ethics
  • Monitor conditions in which practice takes place
  • Monitor and evaluate strategies and interventions
  • Encourages exploration of new ideas & techniques
  • Support and challenge professionals in direct relation to current practice
  • Recognise personal and developmental needs of the counsellor/professional

However supervision can also be tailored to meet both client and organisational needs.