Relational health is established and maintained by our ability to be present with the clients that will come to form our clientele. Beyond the intention that we each have to welcome the other exactly as they are, there is the undeniable presence of our respective ‘I’ acting out this intention to welcome, and at times derailing it. Essentially, a person’s capacity to relate to another depends first and foremost on their ability to relate to themselves authentically. Being a therapist, whatever your modality is, is both rewarding and challenging. When you think of it, you have only one instrument: your body- and your intention to remain open and aware.
Supervision focuses on the client as seen through the lens of the therapist. In the end, we only really encounter ourselves. During monthly supervision sessions, it becomes possible to identify and explore what hinders us from being as open and welcoming as we intend to be.
These difficulties are usually a direct reflection of our injuries, distortions or blind spots, which tend to have their roots in our past, often in our childhood. The relationship each of us have with ourselves is unique. By definition, injury or trauma – triggers survival strategy, or defences – often put in place and then forgotten; they are the opposite of openness.
The earlier an injury or trauma has occurred in a person’s life, the more primitive and relatively unconscious the survival strategy adopted. The more time has passed since the strategy was put in place, the more it becomes part of what the person identifies with and is woven into the explanations the person gives themselves about the world; a pretty seamless and foolproof system. To become aware of these various strategies and the belief system attached to them, we must raise self-awareness, give ourselves time to recognize and learn the signs that announce that these strategies, now obsolete, have been activated and learn to dismantle them, to ultimately integrate the original wound or trauma. It is important to stress that this is a confronting ongoing task really well suited for group work.
Clients often come to us in a vulnerable state, having themselves been triggered into their survival strategies. As practitioners we need to pay attention to our defences and that of our clients, in order to find a way to remain aware of a broad scale of emotions being triggered within and without. This observation work requires a lot of patience, humility and compassion and is all the more fruitful when practised in groups, hence group supervision.
As the supervision group matures, a high level of security and privacy is created between the workers and supervisor. The group learns a common language that allows them to navigate this delicate area where the other and the self can merge, where the present becomes the past, where the chronological age is telescoped… The practitioner’s identification of the original situation evoked by a client, will facilitate them finding their ground again- be present anew. Sometimes, the emotions and situations identified will require the practitioner to do additional personal therapy work, which obviously exceeds the parameters of the supervision group. The group is very lively and what one shares will resonate with another and so on. Over time, the principles of this kind of presence and acceptance of self and others becomes firmly anchored and active, even outside of supervision hours.
Topics to be covered are : Oneness, Confidentiality, Checking in, Projection and Transference, Reactions and Responses, Dual Relationships, Archetypes, Trauma, Tolerance and Equanimity, Cultivating the anew, Peer Supervision
LIVE IN PERSON: JANUARY 28th at 10am – 5pm, then ONLINE 2nd Monday of each month (Feb 12 / Mar 11 / Apr 8 / May 13 / Jun 10, 2024) from 6.30pm to 9pm
Supervision container will be run by Paule Guérard, assisted by Marjorie Silcoff.