Move into Motion
Dr Janice Filer
South West Educational and Therapeutic Services
Supervision, consultancy, mentoring and coaching
What is supervision?
Supervision provides support, information, and monitoring for counsellors/therapists or supervisors, and for other people working in a variety of helping settings (such as social workers, health professionals, teachers, early year’s practitioners, etc.).
Supervision is very different from counselling or therapy in that although it might help to identify some of the personal issues that are being triggered by the work. it is not the arena in which that work will be undertaken. Although the 'client' is the primary focus, supervision also focuses on workers' responses to their clients and issues related to the context of the work e.g. people working with children in a school or early years setting might need to focus on how they manage their responses to the children’s family backgrounds or what they hear from parents in the form of disclosures about their lives, relationships with families and the children, relationships within the team, negotiating their contracts or referrals to other agencies.
Supervision has three functions:
Normative functions are those that relate to the rules, norms, and responsibilities of professionalism.
Formative functions are educational and allow supervisees to grow and develop in knowledge and skills.
The restorative function is in helping the supervisee gain support and thus relief from some of the weight of the work through the discharge of feelings and recharge of energy.
Another function of supervision is challenge and stimulation in the form of discussion or information imparted through the wisdom of a more experienced or qualified practitioner.
What is consultancy?
I offer consultancy to people working in a variety of roles within organisations (commercial, statutory and voluntary), when the person might want help to understand and manage aspects of their work that are burdensome, such as relationships with other staff or the effect of the context upon the work, themselves and others towards whom they have some responsibility. I also offer consultancy to managers and help with development work in a variety of projects. For example, I have provided consultancy to schools who want to set up outdoor education using my Healthy, Active and Outside (HAO) programme which preceded the Forest School methods and is very similar (Filer, 2008). Another consultancy has included setting up peer supervision groups, well-being and team-building for organizations, how to manage the impact of DVA on children in school settings, how to manage difficult behaviour resulting from a developmental or trauma/attachment/relational perspective.
In this consultancy role, I have also supported individuals in setting up their own therapy practice, writing papers/books, starting out in private practice, building websites and research. I also provide consultancy, coaching and mentoring regarding training, INSET, parent support and parenting groups, particularly when organizations want to implement some of the dance movement, adapted physical activity or outdoor programmes that I have developed to address relationship issues in families between parents and children, extended families and the community and to address issues linked to health and well-being. Some of these programmes have internationally accepted accreditation.
Supervision and consultancy can best be undertaken within a safe and trusting relationship when supervisees can allow themselves to explore their anxieties, vulnerabilities, mistakes, issues raised by transference and counter-transference, ethical dilemmas etc. in order to develop their skills, potential and understanding in the work they undertake. In supervisions, supervisees can also explore the positive side of their work, including the celebration of their successes. This work helps to make people more effective and supports them to remain psychologically healthy.
Once we have agreed to work together we will arrange times and frequency of sessions - which should take into account the individual weight of cases, experience, training, etc. Individual supervision/consultancy sessions are normally an hour and a half to allow sufficient material to be covered in depth. Group supervision sessions are usually a minimum of two hours in duration.
Examples of arenas in which I currently offer supervision
I offer support and consultancy to individuals and groups working in Education, Therapy, the NHS, and other statutory and voluntary organizations.
Early years settings
Family support services
Parent support teams
Counselling supervision for:
Individual dance movement therapists working in educational organizations
Individual counsellors and therapists working in educational settings
Play therapists working in schools
Voluntary therapists working in a children’s centre
A national organization providing support for women and children who are victims/survivors of violence and abuse
Support teams working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties
Therapists in private practice
The cost of supervision for individuals is £60 per hour
The cost for consultancy work £70-£100 per hour (depending on the nature of the work)
Whichever approach is used confidentiality is assured - that means that I will not talk about your work with anybody without your permission. However all counsellors are required by their professional code of ethics (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) to work with a supervisor, so from time to time, I will talk to my supervisor about our work. The other exception is: if at any time during our work I judge you may be a danger to yourself or somebody else I will not keep that information confidential. I would inform clients if I considered this action necessary.
When I work with clients whether it is in consultancy, supervision or therapy I endeavour to provide a safe, confidential and pleasant environment. The space we use can be negotiated to suit the client or organization as long as it is safe, comfortable and free from earshot of other people or interruptions.
If appropriate, I carry out my work in a suitable confidential space in the setting requesting the work, in other suitable spaces that I hire particularly when working with large groups who need to go off-site for their supervision/consultancy and sometimes from my home in North Bristol. At times sessions have taken place in a suitable outdoor environment, café or fitness club depending on the nature of the work, where confidentiality can be assured and clients can feel confident and comfortable.
Telephone and Online Supervision
I will also undertake work with clients who wish/need to have a telephone or skype supervision.