On Being a Supervisee - Creating Learning Partnerships
Carroll & Gilbert

On Being a Supervisee - Creating Learning Partnerships

Printed in the UK, softback, 113 pages

Size292 x 211
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A brilliant book for students going into supervised practice, as recommended by the School's clinical principal, Sheila Ryan.

Excerpt from the book:
The focus of supervision is learning. Supervisees learn from their work and from their supervision where they present their work in order that they may give better quality service to their client group. Supervisors are facilitators of learning. They aim to create the kind of collaborative relationship and the sort of learning environment that sustains learning for supervisees. Supervision is for supervisees, not for supervisors. Too often we have had to put up with supervisor-based supervision where supervisors take most of the initiatives, are motivated by their own current hobby horses, dazzle with their wisdom and insights and take the spot light off supervisees. This manual is to empower supervisees to take responsibility for their supervision and for their learning and to persuade supervisors to allow them to do so.

This manual is primarily for supervisees. We consider a supervisee to be anyone, of any profession, who brings his/her work experience to another in order to learn from it.

Supervisees come from professions such as psychology, social work, probation, nursing, psychotherapy and counselling (i.e., the helping professions) as well as from management, HR and Personnel departments. They may also be teachers, trainers, coaches, mentors, organisational consultants, tutors, spiritual directors and members of the emergency services or prison service. We are equally broad in seeing the focus of supervision as any aspect of the supervisee's work or professional development: direct coal-face contact (face-to-face contact) with individuals or groups, work with teams and organizations, programmes and training events, issues of continuing professional development as well as relationship issues, process issues and even strategic elements of the work. We are aware of the many influences that impact on the actual work itself - all those can be valid focus points of supervision.

Most of the research in supervision involves supervisees. They have been asked, in all sorts of ways, what they think of supervision, what it means to them, how they view its various forms and expressions, how they see supervisors and what are the features and characteristics of supervisors they find helpful and unhelpful. The number of questionnaires given to ascertain the views of supervisees is in stark contrast to the amount of help given them to use supervision effectively as a developmental tool. It is still rare for supervisees to receive help and instruction in being an effective supervisee. There is little literature to which supervisees can turn to help them make sense of, understand and be, a collaborative partner in supervisory arrangements, either one to one or in a group/team. The best help for supervisees we have come across is the work of Inskipp and Proctor (2001) and Knapman and Morrison (1998) which systematically brings supervisees through what they need to know to use supervision effectively. However, the first work on supervisees (while being the most comprehensive and the classic in the field) is nested in Inskipp and Proctor's two working manuals on "The Art and Craft of Supervision" and unless taken out and given them by supervisors, would scarcely find its way into supervisee hands. Knapman and Morrison's self-development model for supervisees is a good initial start on the basics of being a supervisee - this manual builds on their work and asks supervisees to move further into understanding their own learning approaches.

Hence this manual. For supervisees (and for supervisors who want to know about being supervisees), it will lead you through the various stages of understanding, setting up, contracting for, maintaining and ending a supervisory relationship. The booklet agrees with the stances of Inskipp (1999) when she writes in her chapter on "Training Supervisees how to Use Supervision", that there are three reasons for concentrating on supervisees:

1. To empower supervisees.
2. To help supervisees be visible and transparent in supervision so that they are open and honest in what they bring (supervisors can only supervise what is brought to them).
3. To involve supervisees actively in all aspects of supervision so creating a collaborative learning relationship. To do this supervisees need skills, knowledge and practical ways of fulfilling their roles and responsibilities (Inskipp, 1999).

Our hope is, that this is a manual supervisors will give supervisees for the above reasons and also because there is not enough time spent on helping supervisees use supervision effectively either on training courses or within supervision itself. However, while primarily for beginner supervisees (those who are still in training), this manual will also assist those who have been supervised before. Indeed experienced supervisees might find it helpful to review how they take part in the supervisory relationship and look again at the various processes involved. It is too easy for all us, no matter how experienced, to follow meaningless routines in our work no matter what our profession. This manual will provide a springboard for discussion (it cannot be an end in itself) between/amongst supervisees and supervisors so that they end up with the same understanding of supervision and become invested in the same supervisory outcomes.

The Authors
Maria Gilbert
Maria Gilbert, M.A. is a chartered clinical psychologist, a UKCP registered Integrative Psychotherapist and a BACP accredited supervisor. She works as a trainer, supervisor, psychotherapist and organizational consultant.

She is currently the Head of the Integrative Department at Metanoia Institute in West London which she was actively involved in setting up over ten years ago. This training is for integrative psychotherapists and has more recently extended to training integrative counselling psychologists who are also psychotherapists.

Maria is also Head of the Supervision Training at Metanoia and has taught nationally and internationally in both supervision and integrative psychotherapy.

Michael Carroll
Michael Carroll, Ph.D. is a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, a Chartered Counselling Psychologist and a BACP Senior Registered Practitioner.

He works as a counsellor, supervisor, trainer and consultant to organizations in both public and private sectors, specialising in the area of employee well being. He has lectured and trained both nationally and internationally.

Michael is Visiting Industrial Professor in the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol and the winner of the 2001 British Psychological Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology.