Working with people can be challenging, especially when the people we work with are unwell or live with significant barriers. Most of us work in this field because we want to support and advocate for people to be happier and healthier in their own lives. With the hope that we promote overall well being throughout the community. Working in human services whether in the field of Mental Health, Disability, Education or Justice it exposes us to risks; to ourselves and others.
It’s for these and many other reasons that Professional Supervision is an important part of your working life. Most employers actively promote supervision, either internally or externally (accessing a supervisor like me outside of your workplace). In some workplaces you may need to request it depending on your specific circumstances.
We are all aware of the extreme pressures throughout the sector on workloads, budgets and reporting requirements (we’re impressed that you have the time to read this right now…). Mental health services continue to receive less than adequate funding to run effectively and to meet the growing needs of our community. So why would we spend time on something other than clinical work, especially when we have overflowing waitlists?
Here’s why Clinical Supervision is a must!
It enhances our skills, confidence and competence: We practice in a field that usually requires tertiary learning and/or substantial lived experience. However, when we start work we don’t often spend a great deal of time continuing our learning. While some workplaces help to ensure your continuing professional development, others might not be quite so helpful. Regular, scheduled supervision provides human services workers with a space to raise concerns and discuss issues with an experienced practitioner. You can discuss clinical matters and casework in retrospect, helping to enhance your skills for future practice.
In order to ensure that clients are safe and work practices remain ethical, it is important to maintain a space utilised solely for the means of having ongoing and continuous discussions about clinical work. Otherwise, we can busily go about our work without noticing risk factors. By having a space to openly discuss a case or clinical work, we provide the case with another set of eyes to review what’s happening and determine if we’ve possibly missed something. After all, two heads are better than one!
We might get emotional support: Having a reflective space to express emotion and content is fundamental to healthy workplace practices. It is an opportunity to discuss everything that’s happening at work, including clinical practice but also workplace relationships, organisational issues and how great Susan’s apple flan is – (shout out to all the bakers out there!). Sometimes though, we don’t have the greatest relationships with our internal supervisors; in this case, you can contact your EAP (employee assistance program) for further support.
Where you may not be able to discuss things openly with your internal supervisor or line manager, external supervision can be a great space to receive emotional support with work-related matters. A healthy workplace culture relies on its members to be emotionally intelligent, and this is where robust supervision can develop self awareness and reflective skills to contribute to a vibrant and intentional work environment.
It can help to remind us of organisational and practice standards: Whilst we all work in the same sector, every organisation has different policies and each discipline practices under a different set of standards. In order to remind ourselves of these procedures and guidelines, we can utilise supervision to ensure that we’re being compliant in all areas.
What about what supervision shouldn’t be? It shouldn’t be a space for personal therapy, discipline or where you feel “too” uncomfortable. For this reason, we will develop a ‘supervision contract’ to ensure that we both know how to deal with any miscommunication that may arise. If you start to feel uncomfortable or feel like things that are being discussed are not quite right, you can discuss this with your line manager or report it to Australian Association of Social Workers.
Why Choose Roxane?
Passionate about creating a sustainable workforce in the helping professions, Roxane’s approach to supervision is the perfect blend of compassionate and challenging. Roxane has 20 years of direct client experience, in the front line of; child protection, disadvantaged youth, family interventions services, addictions and relationship and family therapy. Roxane delivers tailor-made practical, effective and engaging learning to individuals and groups. Roxane will develop confidence, explore challenges, build resilience, cultivate self-reflection and create sustainability.
Are you looking for LESS burnout MORE satisfaction?
- “ACT in Action” – learn practical applications of ACT specific to your role
- “My Self Care Action Plan”