Supervision for people in the caring professions
As practitioners working within the caring professions our varied work provides many challenges as well as rewards. Many of us work alone or in isolation without the vital facility of feedback and support. Within our work we often forge complex and multi-layered relationships with our patients, often supporting them through mental, emotional and spiritual difficulties as well as physical problems.
Supervision offers a safe environment in which we can explore these relationships and our responses to them. Practising as a health professional involves balancing many different issues such as financial needs, boundaries, our own health and health of our patients as well as clinical and practical issues. Supervision provides the opportunity to explore and reflect on all of these areas in a supportive, non-judgmental environment which contributes to our own personal growth and development and ultimately greatly improves the quality of the service we offer to our patients.
My personal experience of supervision
I first entered supervision many years ago when I found myself to be in a state of burn out. I was physically and emotionally exhausted after several years of working very intensively with cancer patients in an NHS hospital. After the first session, I felt as if I had been thrown a life raft and saved from drowning. Not only did entering supervision allow me to return to practice as a more effective practitioner, it also enabled me to make sense of my experiences and formulate strategies to avoid similar pitfalls in the future, I found the whole experience to be truly life-changing. Since then I have faced many challenges within my work life. I have become a mother and had the experience of balancing a busy acupuncture practice with sleepless nights, breast feeding two young children. I have also moved to a much smaller city and had to constantly re-define my boundaries with patients who are neighbours or with whom I have other contacts within the community.
Supervision has enabled me to reflect on these issues and negotiate my way around many potential pitfalls. Being in a supervision group has allowed me to benefit from the wisdom, experience and support of other group members.
My experience of supervision has so inspired me that I have gone on to complete a training course to become a supervisor/ mentor myself. Receiving supervision continues to be an essential on-going work for me. I greatly benefit from the many insights gained in my sessions and feel that for me, supervision is vital for maintaining my well-being and supporting a healthy practice.
Cathy Chapman has been an acupuncturist and member of the British Acupuncture Council since 2003 and has been working as a massage therapist since 1998, she qualified as a supervisor/ mentor in 2012 and has had experience running supervision groups and one to one sessions since then. Cathy has worked within the NHS as an acupuncturist and massage therapist and run a busy practice in a North London GP surgery as well as working for 2 years as an assistant supervisor in the acupuncture teaching clinic at Westminster University, she now lives and works in Lancaster.
Supervision sessions are available either on a one-to-one basis or in a group where the experience and diversity of the practitioners present is a rich resource which offers lots of insight from different perspectives.
The cost is £45 a session. Concessionary rates are available.
Please contact Cathy Chapman on further information:
Supervision groups aim to provide a safe, reflective space where practitioners can bring worries or problems from their working life and gain clarity and a way forward. The group aims to support each practitioner in reaching their own conclusions by offering non-judgmental questions and feedback that will help to facilitate in a journey towards clarity. All work within the group is confidential . When a group begins, all members are asked to commit to staying within the group for at least six sessions in order to allow the group to mature and develop. Groups are closed to new members until after this time when new admissions must be agreed upon by all members of the group. Groups will contain a maximum of 8 people. In every group session each member will have half an hour available to discuss any issues so session duration will be dependant on the number of members.
The cost of group supervision is dependent on group size and venue.
It is vital to the life of the group that each member commits to attend each session if at all possible. Groups usually run either once a month or once every 8 weeks depending on the experience and time constraints of the
Please contact Cathy Chapman for further information: