Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? Have you ever heard a colleague say one of them? Have you ever thought them? If so, you may be interested in learning about the process of Supervision.
1. "I feel sexually attracted to a client and I'm pretty sure she feels attracted to me as well. I'm thinking of bringing it up at our next appointment."
2. "Every time I work with Mary, I feel sick for hours afterward. It must be her toxic, negative belief system affecting me!"
3. "I always run over with this one client. Right at the last minute, she comes up with a crisis. Last week, she said she was suicidal, and the week before, she started crying uncontrollably. I feel so helpless, I mean, I can't just leave her like that, what should I do?"
4. "My client is rich, so it's okay if I accept his expensive gift. It's just his way of saying thank you."
5. "I get so energized from healing! I just love this work. It makes me feel so good inside that I just want to give as many healings as I can, to as many people as I can!"
6. "I just can't seem to build my practice. It must be that there is too much competition in my area. Maybe I should give away some free samples to kick start my practice."
7. "I've tried everything, and Anthony is still not getting better. I must be doing something wrong; maybe I need to learn some new techniques."
8. "I sometimes find myself daydreaming or getting distracted during sessions, and I want to be more present and focused."
9. "When Kristin began crying, I had a hard time simply sitting with her quietly and being present with her while she was in pain. I noticed that I quickly handed her box of tissues, and I had to fight my urge to hold her while she cried."
10. "When she makes those expressions with her eyebrows, I have to squelch my urge to scream. My mom used to do that when she was interrogating me. I just can't seem to separate out my own feelings about my mother and my feelings towards my client."
One of the core missions of this site is to help educate Healers about the supervision process and how they can use supervision as an aid to becoming a more effective Professional Healer.
What is Professional Supervision? Supervision originated in the training of psychotherapists. During Supervision sessions, experienced therapists worked with student therapists to help them translate what they learned in school into real practice. Supervisors employ a variety of methods and techniques that will vary depending of the work being supervised as well as the training and orientation of the Supervisor.
What is a Supervisor? An effective Supervisor is much like a mentor or coach, in that he or she will foster latent talents, provide education in specific skills, and allow the Healer to learn at their own pace. One of the hardest tasks in being a Supervisor is to allow the Healer to make mistakes without jumping in to make corrections, but rather, to keep inviting the healer to draw upon inner strengths and resources so that it seems as if the answers are coming from within the Healer rather than from the Supervisor.
Why is Supervision important for Professional Healers? Supervision of Healers by Healers is a relatively new application of the Supervision process. During a Supervision session, the Healer presents clinical information about a client and about how he or she approached the session. This reporting may be done by phone. The Supervisor listens carefully and then asks meaningful questions, based on his or her theoretical orientation, training and experience. The process is designed to allow the Healer to consider alternative possibilities in working with the client. The Healer then applies these new ideas in their practice.
As a Healer, how do you select a Supervisor? This is much like hiring any other professional. You want to choose someone who matches your theoretical orientation and communication style, and of course, you want someone who has demonstrated a technical mastery of the area in which you want to develop.
How often do Healers need Supervision? Some healers schedule regular Supervision sessions once or twice a month. Others schedule them when they need clarity with a particular issue. Most professionals consult with more knowledgeable colleagues when they feel that they need an extra set of eyes and ears. For example, when a medical professional notices something about a patient that is out of their scope of practice, he or she refers the patient to a specialist. Healers are invited to adopt the same practice. Sometimes, one Supervision session will be sufficient. At other times, such as when the Healer notices a pattern occurring with multiple clients, he or she may need regular focused Supervision sessions to get to the root of the issue. The Supervision process is a journey of education and discovery, never one of shame or blame, and the goal is to make the Healer more effective as a professional.
What kinds of issues can be discussed during Supervision? Although the list of topics can be endless, there are some subjects that come up more frequently than others. These subjects include ethical or legal issues related to working with clients; training in professional skills that the Supervisor has mastered; and, practice issues, such as setting fees, record keeping and setting boundaries regarding time. For example, what do you do when a client presents with a multitude of medical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual issues, and expects the Healer to magically heal all her problems in one or two sessions? This unrealistic expectation may be based on popular literature or claims that others make for various systems of energy healing. Deep down, the Healer may also buy into the myth. Supervision can help the Healer come to terms with the realities of an often lengthy healing journey.
What is the outcome of Supervision? There are many different styles of Supervision, and multiple ways of approaching all issues. Working through problems with a supervisor should result in the Healer's becoming much more present and effective, and better able to understand the special dynamics involved in working as a professional healer.
Author - Anna Ferraraccio