Why Supervision for Helping Professionals?
"I just want to help" is a common phrase in helping professions, so is the belief that we can help.
We were trained, right? We have spent years in college, reading books, citing information in assignments and know what "we should" say.
We even have an idea about what we and others "should" do which gets us through a large majority of our working relationships. ( I am not recommending this approach, simply acknowledging it)
This can often help many get by until that is that a client or patient arise a part of our own story or wounding and we unconsciously get looped into our own judgments, belief system, ego and blind spots.
Very rarely do those in a position of helping not want to actually help, I truly believe this. However, through a lack of reflective practice, we can easily do the opposite in any given moment.
Helping ourselves first and foremost equips us with a better understanding of boundaries with others, it also ensures we aren't blurring the lines between our desire for others and their own autonomy.
Supervision can also help reduce frustration and make it easier to get clearer about what we can do within our current role rather than being overwhelmed by what we can't do. Or what others aren't doing.
Professional training and qualifications do not in and of themselves transform a person's judgements, bias or create awareness within the professional in relation to our own unconscious motivations or blind spots.
Professional training can give new information and understanding, in particular courses with an emphasis personal awareness however that does not intrinsically mean the professional (us) has integrated this new learning into our own lives, it often results in us "knowing what others should do".
The practice of supervision allows us time to bring awareness to these aspects, while focusing on the professional practice and how that can be affected by beliefs, judgements, emotive responses and conclusions that they may not be aware of.
Often I hear professionals say I know all the right things to say, "sure I do it at work but at home with my own family I am different"
Our professional guidelines are about how we practice, not about who we are. If there is a distinct difference I have to ask why?
If we truly believe in our professional practice and embody it, then why do we default in other spaces to less awareness and boundaries?
What is mine and what is the others?
Am I working within clear standards or have I slipped off that guideline and if so why?
Where am I in all this? What are my motivations?
Is this helpful for the person or is this more about my comfort?
Can I be more effective here?
How can I support myself and my client/patients more?
These are some of the questions supervision can work with.
I use to imagine supervision as the place where I got told how I was doing things wrong and many I supervise have feared the same originally. That is until we started and until supervision became a support.
I and they couldn't be more wrong. Supervision is a place to be supported and review working situations with more clarity. Supervision offers the chance to review limiting beliefs and behaviours and empower our practice.
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