Supervisor’s role

Learning journey 1.

‘Supervision through systems thinking is a way of looking or seeing and its impact on the state of being and doing, which is mutual influencing.’


‘What is the framework of thinking that guides the counselling process  and self as a person?’

These two statements that I picked up from the second day of the course has been revisited over many times.  Each time, it brings further depth and dimension on what these means.  I realise that while thinking is something that’s been taken for granted, being a supervisor, it makes thinking a conscious effort.

Reflexivity is something that I feel is highly important to make progress in our work.  This course has highlighted the layers of reflexivity in my work in counselling.  Reflection in action and reflection on action are two states of reflections that will give depth to the issues at hand during session as well as post-session.

Reflexivity is a cognitive exercise that I feel it has given me a sense of heightened awareness on my own position as a counsellor/social worker, opinion and values.  ‘Who am I?’, and ‘What I do?’ are two questions that address the self in me when in counseling practice and these have an impact on what transpire in the counselling session.   The clinical supervision course has brought us to reflect more on many other basic questions about clients; who they are and what I see in them, what are my perception on problems and the solutions and the approach that I employ in my session.

Supervisor’s role is to facilitate supervisees the ability to think through what they do through appropriate questions and not thinking for them.  Spoon-feeding the supervisee on how to think and giving lots of suggestions may be what is expected of a level one supervisee, seems an easy for any supervisor to do when one does not have the patience and conveniently take up the role of the expert (which may make me feel good as the expert).  However, this may curtail the necessary growth of a supervisee.

I have to remind myself that the main role of the supervisor is to support and ‘build’ the person of the supervisee.  The main focus is on transferability of knowledge and skills of working effectively with clients with the hope that supervisee will develop independent self-thinking and reflexivity skills and discipline.

Learning in this course takes courage, as I (and others too) always feel vulnerable when put to ‘test’ in the many roles that were played in the training sessions.  More fearful is the state when I have to be the supervisee and my work is being scrutinised.  Experiencing the support from course mates and trainers brings out a safe feeling in an uncertain situation would likely gives me the opportunity to empathise with any supervisee better.  I hope I can be a nurturing supervisor that helps to foster growth and not a hindrance.  Question to myself is how to strike a balance in supervisory work between guiding and imposing, imparting and influencing, and create a safe and stable learning environment while state of uncertainty is always present.

I feel that in the course, I need to know deeper my self as a person and then a supervisor. If I am not comfortable with my own self, then I would be more engrossed with my own internal conversations that distract my attention to the supervisee and the client.  I need to learn to manage to feel safe in an uncertain learning situation in this course as I have seen and feel the safe environment it present.  I want to create that safe relationship and environment in my role as a clinical supervisor.


23 Oct 2012


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