All therapists should be in some form of clinical supervision. It is important that perspective clients ensure that the therapist that they wish to engage is in an appropriate supervisionary relationship. The form that a psychotherapist may utilise varies, but here are some of the more classic forms of clinical supervision.
One to one, supervisor-therapist: A single supervisor provides supervision for one other therapist. Inexperienced therapists particularly should choose a supervisor who has been a practising therapist for a number of years.
One to one, co-supervision: Two participants provide supervision for each other by alternating the roles of supervisor and therapist. Normally the time available for supervision is divided equally between them.
Group supervision with identified supervisor[s]: There is a range of ways of providing group supervision. At one end of the spectrum the supervisor, acting as leader, will take responsibility for apportioning the time between the therapists then concentrating on the work of individuals in turn. At the other end of the range the therapists will allocate supervision time between themselves using the supervisor as a technical resource.
Peer group supervision: Three or more therapists share the responsibility for providing each other’s supervision within the group context. Normally they will consider themselves to be broadly of equal status, training or experience. Experienced therapists may at times find peer group supervision sufficient. It is not, however, recommended for the trainee or newly qualified therapist. Peers may be reluctant to confront and may lack the wider experience and perspective considered an essential ingredient of supervision. Where a peer group does exist it is essential that there is a clear understanding of where the final responsibility for the clients’ welfare rests.
I am an approved supervisor with the UK Council for Psychotherapy and I hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Clinical Supervision from the University of Derby. The model of supervision I created for this award (APT Model of Supervision) can be read about here It is important to note that I remain in a clinical supervisionary relationship at a 10:1 ratio for my clinical work as well as recieving supervision for my supervisionary work.