Wales Counselling provides counselling supervision for counsellors within North Wales and Chester

Claire McCluskey
M.Sc. B.A. Relate Cert C.C.
Registered Counsellor BACP & UKRC

Coast Road, Rhyl, LL18 3PL
07551 529 386


"Supervision is a formal arrangement for therapists to discuss their work regularly with someone who is experienced in both therapy and supervision.

The task is to work together to ensure and develop the efficacy of the therapist / client relationship.

The agenda will be the therapy and feeling about that work, together with the supervisor's reactions, comments and challenges.

Thus supervision is a process to maintain adequate standards of therapy and a method of consultancy to widen the horizons of an experienced practitioner.

In choosing a supervisor, therapists need to assess their position on a scale ranging from newly qualified to very experienced, to decide the main focus of the therapy work undertaken and to take into account their own training, philosophy and methods."

(Source What is Supervision BACP S2 Information sheet)

Supervision helps the counsellor develop as a counselling practitioner... rather like "learning a trade" a supervisor will help the counsellor at various developmental stages.

I work with Hawkins & Shohets model of supervision with a seven eyed focus on:

Supervision lets the therapist share observations about the couple process and thus work with thinking feelings and theory. This can "free up" the counsellor to reposition them to the work. This is especially important in working with transference (from the clients) or countertransference (from the counsellor) issues.

Supervision will also take account of power issues in the work. Safe and ethical practice is the goal.

In supervision we explore the presenting problem, progress of counselling, theories used and goals for supervision.

These are taken in the context of reflexivity- i.e. issues pertaining to self- present or past which may be hindering or helping the work.

In supervision with me I will encourage you to observe:

This reflexive process takes account of feedback loops and embedded belief systems so that the balance between individual and couple needs can be uncovered.

The BACP has set a base line of 1.5 hours supervision per month.

It is important to remember though that constant assessment and awareness of workload is vital and may mean this at times will be too little.

For example: working full time in a counselling role may mean this is too little to cover the volume of work.

"A baseline also needs to be increased when your work is particularly demanding, perhaps in its emotional intensity or its complexity.

Faced with a dramatic change in emotional intensity - when a major incident has resulted in severe traumatisation among your clientele for example - you might double your supervision hours and keep reviewing the situation if you are likely to become overstretched by the emotional content...

The effect of insufficient supervision in this situation could be severely disruptive in other areas of the counsellor's life, and in turn could rebound on the quality of counselling."

(S1 How much supervision should you have? D Mearns BACP Information sheets)

Sources: Gilbert & Shmucker Brief Therapy with Couples
Hawkins & Shohet Supervision in the Helping Professions