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1) Awareness question:
For me, the experience of being a supervisor has been heavy at times but also rewarding. I take this role very seriously, and due to that, I have actually stopped supervising for the past 5 years. I did not feel I had adequate supports (my own supervision, being on the cutting edge on the field, increased risks in our populations) to sustain my work and supervisees. I am looking at taking on that duty again – and this reading has validated my choices, now and in the past.
What I loved about supervision was its’ complexity and impact on others. Watching supervisees grow and change professionally was very rewarding. I know that by doing this supervisory work, I am also helping “30 – 40 – 50” clients, their families and their worlds by supporting the counselor – makes a positive dent in their world☺
2) Strategies question:
I put a lot of structure in my supervision for clarity within the supervisory relationship. My disclosure statement gets longer every year, especially with more play therapy and technology information regarding the supervisory relationship. I sent an intake form to the supervisee with the request that they return it the first time. Supervisees needed to document their own liability insurance as well as their strengths, challenges and goals. We reviewed these goals and the supervisory relationship periodically (informally) and yearly(formally) to continue our professional structure. Having structure helped the counselor remember their professional obligations and improvement while they were engaged in working day-to-day “in the trenches.” Having structure also helped me to manage my responsibilities as their supervisor.
I would also engage in regular supervision-of-supervision on a regular basis. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for me to reduce negative impacts of vicarious traumatization and the increased responsibility of managing their high risk clientele.
3. Agency support question.
Agencies can support with regular supervision-of-supervision, standardized documents and helping their supervisors be cutting edge in professional information. Agencies can send their staff to trainings and workshops, especially by sending more than one staff member to increase sharing and communication of information within the agency.
My agency is very supportive financially about trainings and when staff returns from workshops, information is shared among the staff for a positive benefit to all. They promote a culture of learning and shared common language regarding our professional work.