The benefits of regular supervision
Solution-focused supervision is a regular form of professional mentoring or coaching, which facilitates your personal and professional growth, both as a therapist and a business owner and it is a vital aspect of us as therapists, enabling the best possible outcomes for our clients
Below are just some of the main benefits to having regular supervision.
- CLIENT PROTECTION: First and foremost, a crucial aspect of supervision in any professional discipline is to offer protection to the public; cases are reviewed confidentially between you and your Supervisor, where discussions can ensure you are always working in your clients’ best interests.
- YOUR CONTINUED SUCCESS: The collaboration between you and your Supervisor is a vital component in helping you find ways to successfully move your clients forward – and that means a more successful practice for you. After all, the cardinal rule of marketing is: ‘do a good job!’. Ensuring that we are regularly focused on enhancing what we do, obviously has huge benefits for our existing clients but, by extension, the potential for developing crucial referrals in the future – which is undoubtedly the main source of new clients for established therapists. It is no coincidence that the most successful self-employed practitioners, regularly participate in supervision and CPD – simply put, it makes us better.
- YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFELINE: Whether you have recently qualified or have been a SFH for years, having regular contact with a Supervisor can provide huge support – particularly if a complaint has been raised about you or your work – or, better yet, discussing your work with your Supervisor may help you to avoid this. Part of the role of the AfSFH is to impartially review any negative feedback received. Where this happens, your Supervisor is your first line of support. Or perhaps you’ve come across something that may be a safeguarding issue or have found yourself dealing with a client experiencing mental health problems that you’ve never come across before – your Supervisor may not have all the answers, but they can be a real lifeline of support – helping to point you in the right direction of where you might find further information.
- PROVIDES PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS: “Should I do a Rewind?”, “They don’t respond to the Miracle Question”, “Their scaling number keeps going down or not changing” – just some of the things we might experience in our practice. Along with their own experiences, these are things your Supervisor will have come across regularly before. Supervision can therefore be extremely valuable on a practical level, by helping us to grow in our understanding of how to use various tools and in sharpening our skills and techniques – especially when we feel we’re stuck with how to help a client or we’ve reached a plateau in helping them make changes. Supervision helps us in finding solutions, and helps us to identify our own abilities, strengths, and resources, which will benefit our clients and our practice.
- PERSONAL GROWTH: Supervision is at the heart of our personal as well as our professional growth as Solution Focused Hypnotherapists. Not just vital for when we start out, it can help us in developing our knowledge and confidence throughout our careers. Supervision reassures us, challenges our thinking, gives us ideas and inspiration, however experienced we are. Crucially, it also helps us to recharge our energy and motivation, and encourages creativity to stimulate and invigorate our practices, which is vital to success over the years.
- DEDICATED TIME FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: As mentioned, supervision can be immensely helpful in giving us the opportunity to develop our knowledge and skills, but it can specifically allow us the time to reflect on our work. It’s so easy to get into a routine with clients, and sometimes it’s easy for us to become too relaxed about what we are doing and why we do it (and perhaps for bad habits to start creeping in, like poor time management of sessions or not bothering with consent forms etc). Supervision offers a dedicated, safe time and place for us to reflect on our performance, providing us with insights into how to progress and improve in our work. Considering what is working well and what isn’t, can help us refine our practice to the benefit of our clients and our business – after all, this dedicated time for reflection can relate to all aspects of our practice from marketing and advertising, to considering strategies for effective time-keeping.
- BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Supervision can also be a great opportunity to discuss ways to build and grow your business. Talking things through with your supervisor (and other supervisees if present), can help you consolidate your ideas and come up with new plans for how to develop your business. The chances are that your Supervisor or colleagues may well have tried and tested several methods and might be able to give you some valuable insights – including scams or other costly strategies you’d be better off avoiding.
- SOCIAL INTERACTION: Well, we all know about the positive benefits of social interaction! As with many other types of self-employment, working as a Solution Focused Hypnotherapist can be isolating at times and Supervision is a great way to make and establish social and professional connections with like-minded therapists.
- PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY: As well as the multitude of other benefits, participating in regular supervision shows the public that you’re a professional, and that you are committed to regular, dedicated development activities. This is the hallmark of a professional practitioner, and something we should all proudly advertise. Whilst it’s true that there some unscrupulous therapists out there who never participate in supervision or CPD activities, not even the barest minimum as required by professional registration, we want all AfSFH members to demonstrate their professional conduct – something that will continue to enhance the reputation of SFH practitioners everywhere!
- PROVIDES A GUIDING HAND: Although all of us will have our own unique style and ways of working, the beauty and success of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy lies in its structure – one that has helped thousands of people in their lives. Through things we may see and hear on social media or on television, or from attending events etc. it can sometimes be tempting to ‘experiment’ with different ideas, strategies, and techniques. Now, there is nothing particularly wrong with this (as long as they are for your client’s benefit) and some therapists may well use other techniques that they have trained in (such as NLP, SFBT, or using EFT etc) or bring in additional themes in their work in which they are qualified (such as nutrition or pure CBT). However, if a client has come to us for Solution Focused Hypnotherapy, then we must fulfil that expectation and never comment, suggest or advise in other matters in which we are not suitably qualified. Supervision can often help us get ‘back to basics’ – helping us to focus on the very best practices in SFH, which have been successfully used to help thousands of people.
- KEEPS US UP-TO-DATE: Supervision can also help us keep up-to-date with research or other findings, or recent news items that may be of interest to you and that may be beneficial to you and your clients. It’s a great way of staying in the loop with the latest professional developments, and any other wider changes in the legal matters that might be relevant to us.
- SUPPORTING OUR SELF-CARE: Having regular meetings with your Supervisor also helps you to reflect on your own self-care, because Supervisors also have a pastoral element in their work – they want to make sure you’re OK! Sometimes, it can also be hard for us to talk about difficulties we are experiencing with friends or family, because we may feel obligated to always be seen to be upbeat and positive – having an honest and supportive relationship with your Supervisor can therefore be hugely beneficial for our own wellbeing; as the saying goes “we cannot pour from an empty cup”.