Supervision can be a place for the practitioner to develop specific therapeutic skills, including holding presence, establishing appropriate contact, setting and holding boundaries, tracking the client, reflection, and developing awareness of how one, as practitioner, is using and placing one’s attention.
~ Raymond Castellino, RCST, RPP, RPE, DC

Supervision and professional consultations are available in person, on the telephone, through Skype, and occasionally through email. Sessions are appropriate for holistically oriented massage therapists, budding herbalists, uncertified and newly certified Maya Abdominal therapists, and other holistic practitioners  Supervision sessions have four primary focuses:

Individual, or Personal Supervision

  1. Supporting the practitioner to translate personal activations into effective and efficient therapeutic interactions with their clients. This is the main purpose of supervision. Supervision is about the practitioner integrating what is activating from them. These activations occur because our unresolved material gets activated when we are working or because we are under-supported and don’t realize it. In traditional therapies, these practitioner activations are called countertransferences. Countertransference occurs when the practitioner’s own historical material is activated. One of our jobs as practitioners is to translate our activations, or countertransferences, into useful statements and activities that are cooperative and supportive for ourselves and the people we are working with. Supervision can help us do that. And when we leave a session where we are questioning our therapeutic choices–and sometimes ourselves–supervision helps us to gain perspective, reorient, and regulate our own nervous systems. Supervision is more about the practitioner than the client.
  2. Examining how the practitioner is working with their client in the following areas: a) developing appropriate therapeutic contracts, b) setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries, c) communicating effectively, d) implementing effective therapeutic strategies.
  3. Maintaining consistency within individual sessions an over the course of the therapy with each client (i.e., maintaining the therapeutic contract).
  4. Business issues: a) effective business structures, b) business relationships, c) scope of practice issues, d) practice building, e) practice maintenance.

Group Supervision or Tutorial Groups

During group supervision and tutorial groups, practitioners present cases they are working with. Practitioners can describe situations that are challenging to them. They are asked to share how they are interacting with clients in specific situations, focusing on 1) how the therapy is progressing, 2) what is working for them as a practitioner, 3) what skills they are developing, and 4) what they consider their challenges to be. Presenting clinicians receive support and feedback from the supervisor and the other participants in the group. Note: Europeans have been much more willing to form and travel to tutorial groups than Americans. This system has proven itself to ensure effective application of the work and increase the investment students have made in their professional and personal growth.

Time

In group settings, each individual’s turn takes anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Individual supervision generally takes 20 to 60 minutes for a single-intention question or for a single issue with a client. Usually, individual supervision sessions take 20 to 40 minutes. Each additional intention can increase the supervision session time proportionately. Three or four intentions or situations can take up to 1.5 hours.

Other comments

The structure and content of what I have just shared is adapted from the pioneering early trauma-work of Raymond Castellino, RCST, RPP, RPE, DC. I look forward to participating in the supervision process. It is a mainstay of my practice and my work. Thank you for taking the time to read this and allowing me to share this material with you. I hope you are able to find your supervision work as rewarding as I have.

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