Why supervision for complementary practitioners?
I have been supervising a wide variety of complementary practitioners (body workers, massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists and other helping professionals) for many years now, based upon the recognition that whilst they may be very skilled and competent practitioners in their chosen discipline, they usually have not been trained and prepared for the relational dynamics which arise in any kind of ongoing treatment.
In your practice, have you been confronted with clients who are …
– bursting into tears during treatment
– phoning you between sessions
– seeking an intimate relationship or friendship with you
– terminating resentfully, or …
– taking a long time to leave at the end of sessions ?
Have you ever felt …
– drained and invaded after sessions with particular clients,
– unclear about setting and maintaining boundaries
– unable to refuse clients’ requests or demands, or
– out of your depth in terms of the client’s reactions and behaviour ?
These situations, questions and conflicts are common amongst complementary practitioners. Most complementary therapy approaches are based on a holistic view of the person which recognises the interrelationship between body, emotions, mind and spirit. This view recognises that our body reflects our emotional state and vice versa. Whilst giving excellent tools for working energetically and physically, unfortunately most complementary trainings do not provide sufficient inputs regarding the emotional and psychological aspects of holistic work.
Touching the client’s body inevitably implies touching their feelings and soul. This can generate feelings of attachment between client and therapist which go beyond simple treatment. In order to understand and contain this layer of the therapeutic process, therapists need to be aware of the client’s inner world and have some insight into the unspoken dynamics evoked in the therapeutic relationship.
In supervision I will aim to address this layer of the therapeutic process and to explore some of the tools that will help complementary practitioners to contain the emotional dynamics which arise in their practice. Some of the issues that can be discussed and explored in supervision are:
• the therapeutic frame and contract: commitments, fees, times
• projection, transference, countertransference
• the therapeutic touch: difficulties around regressive and sexual dynamics
• how to end a process: separation, loss and completion
My supervision focuses on supporting the therapist’s established style and practice whilst enlarging their capacity to be present with their clients.
If you wish to read more about my approach in supervising complementary therapists, you can find here a transcript of a talk I gave at The London School of Osteopathy.
The next step:
I am available for weekly, fortnightly or monthly individual supervision sessions.
Sessions are 50 minutes long, and usually take place face-to-face in my consulting room in Oxford. I also have ongoing experience with telephone and Skype supervision, and have some availability for this.
I currently charge on a sliding scale between £50 and £55 per session; reduced fee arrangements are occasionally possible.
Small group supervision for complementary practitioners
For some years now, I have been running several small supervision groups for complementary practitioners (4 participants), meeting monthly in Oxford. Please get in touch if you are interested in participating.
Unique CPD courses for complementary practitioners
For many years I have been running CPD courses for complementary practitioners both in Israel as well as in the UK, entitled The Therapeutic Relationship, bringing basic principles and ideas of psychotherapy to complementary therapists.