What is Professional Supervision?

Thu 24 November 2016



What is professional supervision?


Professional supervision is a process of in-depth reflection by practitioners on their work in order that they continue to learn and develop from their experiences and provide quality services to clients or staff. It focuses on the ‘work’ of the practitioner and the structural and personal influences that impact on that practice. Through a process of critical reflection, practitioners can:

  • Enhance their practical skills
  • Increase their confidence and competence in working with individuals, families and groups
  • Consider specific issues arising from client work
  • Focus on their mastery of theoretical or technical knowledge
  • Seek support in developing positive self-care strategies to nurture themselves, reduce stress, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma


Why do professionals need supervision?


Therapists, counsellors, health, welfare professionals and educators’ focus involves supporting the complex needs of clients, their families and others. There are many joys and challenges working closely with others who are dealing with intricate issues in their lives.  

However, to do this work effectively we need support for ourselves and to ensure we are providing the highest quality service to the people with whom we work. Supervision is one way we can work towards achieving this objective.


Who would benefit from professional supervision?


In the past it was assumed that supervision was only for new graduates. Increasingly, professions are recognising professional supervision is most useful throughout a career. This means that whether you have just begun your career, have been working for a few years or many years there is much to be gained from professional supervision.

Many agencies provide a form of supervision from line managers. In busy health and welfare settings it may only be possible to provide brief opportunities for reporting on client work. There may be no choice of supervisor. For those staff working in solo positions or in private practice there may be no formal structures of support.

Professional supervision that is initiated by the practitioner means you can choose a supervisor that suits your needs, your areas of interest and approaches to supervision that appeal to you.


What professional supervision is available at Therapeutic Axis?


At Therapeutic Axis we provide professional supervision in a variety of ways. Professional supervision can be arranged for a one on one session with (a) highly skilled and experienced supervisor(s). (not sure if Annie Crowe is joining the practice and wants to be included in this?)

We also offer group supervision either held at an agency setting or at Therapeutic Axis in Glebe. In addition, we can provide professional supervision to 2 or 3 colleagues from the same or different agencies who wish to work on specific issues in a group with a skilled facilitator.

Recommended frequency of professional supervision varies depending on practitioner’s circumstances, the requirements of their professional body and the supervisor providing the service. Some practitioners make a regular fortnightly or monthly commitment, others come for a few sessions to work on specific issues. Please contact Therapeutic Axis for more information.


Author: Moira Carmody is able to offer professional  supervision.