Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Personal Philosophy of Supervision in the Context of Guidance and Counselling

Below is an edited version of an assignment I submitted as part of the Guidance Counselling Supervision Training programme run by Trinity College on behalf of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.


The model of supervision that I use is the Seven Eyed Supervisor Model which was devloped by Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet in their book Supervision in the Helping Professions. It focuses on both client and Guidance Counsellor development, which are the two key supervision goals.

The model focuses on client development in many ways, including: examining why the client chose this Guidance Counsellor, how the client presents himself, examining the story of the client and what he chose to share with the Guidance Counsellor, what metaphors he used and when he used them. In other words, it gets the Guidance Counsellor to present the client as if the client “fully entered the room” Hawkins & Shohet (2010). The Guidance Counsellor also tunes into the unconscious world of the client to listen out for transference, splitting and projection. The supervisor assists the Guidance Counsellor in a supportive way by naming any feelings that he has about this client. This may give more information about what the client is leaving out of the session.

Another fundamental goal of supervision is counsellor development. The Seven- Eyed Model enables this process in a number of ways. According to Hawkins and Shohet (2010), counsellors may, at an early stage of client work, rush to judgement about a client based on a few facts. The supervisor using this model acts as a container for the anxieties of the Guidance Counsellor and helps him to deal with his own feelings of helplessness around the client.

Hawkins& Shohet (2010) state that a counsellor in early therapeutic work with clients, often believes that he has only 2 options. The role of the supervisor is to facilitate the Guidance Counsellor’s learning and to highlight that there are many options. This is done by carrying out a brainstorming exercise which expands the knowledge base of the Guidance Counsellor. It also increases his skill level and helps to remove dualistic thinking.