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Guidelines for Supervision Groups

In recognition of the varied work settings that students bring to this training, we chose not to be rigidly prescriptive; the following guidelines are designed to help students to think about structuring their groups in such a way as to optimise their experience of the Supervision Diploma training.

o   The student supervisor’s supervision group will have a stable membership of between 3 and 5 practitioners. It needs to meet a minimum of fortnightly for the duration of the course, however a weekly supervision group would optimise students’ experience on the course. Supervision groups should be between one and two hours in length depending on frequency. Duration and frequency needs to be thought about in the context of the setting, as well as the number of supervisees and requirements of the course (see below).


o   The practitioners in the student’s supervision group will be psychotherapists or counsellors working with a caseload of individuals or groups.  Supervision groups consisting of practitioners who are not therapists or counsellors but who have a clear case load and a clear therapeutic role may also be considered.


o   For successful completion of the training students will need to have completed a minimum of thirty hours supervised practice. It may be possible to bring two supervision groups to the supervision of supervision if the frequency of a single group does not offer sufficient experience for the student.


o   The work the student’s supervisees bring to the supervision group can be either group work or individual work, both are suitable. The student’s supervisees would be encouraged to bring a single piece of work, a group or an individual, that can be worked with over time. 


o   Where a student’s group has not started by the beginning of the course or within the first month, it may be necessary to extend the student’s supervision of supervision beyond the end of the course at the student’s expense.


o   Students with firm ideas for a supervision group, broadly conforming to the above guidelines and in place around the start of the course, are best placed to derive maximum benefit from the course.


Online Supervision Groups

In order to benefit as fully as possible from this training, all students should aim to run their supervision groups in person.  However, given the continuing uncertainty with regard to Covid we recognise that this may be difficult to achieve.  A mixed model of working by Zoom with some regular face to face sessions included will be acceptable.

In certain circumstances a group that meets entirely online can be considered.  The intention to run supervision groups entirely online must be discussed first with the Course Convenors.


Obtaining consent from your Supervision Groups

·       To present material from your supervisory work with them in Supervision of Supervision

·       To use examples, vignettes etc, from the supervision group, suitably anonymised, in writing your qualifying paper.


It will be helpful for your supervisees to know that you are already competent supervisors. This is an advanced training, undertaken at post graduate level.  You will be enlivened and informed by what you learn and by your contact with other skilled supervisors.  As such, the training is likely to benefit them as well as you.

You should inform your supervisees that you will be writing a qualifying paper at the end of the training but that both their identity and that of their supervisees will be anonymised.  You should further inform them that, should you decide to publish the paper, consent will be sought separately, and publication will not take place if consent is not given by all parties. 

The Course Directors are happy to be available to help students think through their plans for their supervision groups.


Leonie Hilliard & Sara Perren, Course Directors


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