Are you new to hypnotherapy or need a change of supervisor?
This blog provides information about supervision and five tips on finding a suitable hypnotherapy supervisor for you.
- Benefits of good supervision
- How to find a suitable supervisor
- Checking a supervisors qualifications and experiences
- Finding out how a supervisor works
- Supervision delivery methods
- Supervisory roles and working together
Some people might be surprised to hear that hypnotherapists have supervision. However, supervision is a common way that hypnotherapists learn and develop, similar to many other professions.
Although hypnotherapy is a voluntarily regulated profession, supervision is required by a hypnotherapist’s professional body. It’s a formal process where a supervisor meets with a practitioner (supervise).
Commonly one to one and a half hours is required per month for those in full-time practice. However, different professional bodies have additional requirements, so you must check how much supervision you must have before starting.
Benefits of good supervision
It helps practitioners evaluate practice.
It develops self-awareness.
It helps people to improve critical/ creative thinking.
It can link with Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
It supports self-care.
Supervision shows that a practitioner wants to be serious about practice. They want to develop and get support.
It’s a quality improvement tool as it’s a way to learn and check standards.
A key component of supervision is reflection. This is based on Kolb’s learning cycle (1984) and involves the practitioner questioning what they do and thinking and feeling about it to analyse, evaluate and develop new learning.
But how do you find a hypnotherapy supervisor?
Hypnotherapists can shop around just like someone who wants to purchase other services.
And just like any other service, you are looking for quality and value for money.
But you need to know what you want and what is available to make the right choices for you.
Let’s start with what supervision is and what it isn’t.
Supervision isn’t a chat about clients, and it is not about revealing confidential information about clients.
Supervision is a formal process where two hypnotherapists meet. Usually, one is more senior, and they discuss practice in a structured way. Any reference to clients is confidential, so only anonymised examples from practice are used. The supervisee is also supported and may be directed to other help.
Supervision is a process that is based on one or more models. That means there is a theoretical base to what is happening in the supervision session.
Tip 1: Practitioners should start by looking for a supervisor in professional places such as their professional body, educational establishments, or recommendations from other practitioners.
The list of professional organisations that can direct you to supervisors is long. Some focus on specific practices, for example, solution-focused hypnosis.
In the UK you could go to:
Check a supervisor’s qualifications and experience
So when you have found someone who might be suitable, ask them about their qualifications, time in practice and how they work. You may also want to check their qualifications by searching online.
Ideally, the supervisor should be a qualified supervision, although there are several different courses for supervisors training, and you will find some supervisors have years of experience. And, of course, a qualified supervisor doesn’t necessarily mean that the supervisor is the best fit for you.
Tip 2: Check that the supervisor is in practice and what they are specialising in. Does their practice support research or evidence-based practice?
Find out how the supervisor works, i.e. Models of supervision
There are many models of supervision.
Hypnotherapists base their models on those from psychotherapy—these cover developmental, integrative or specific models to the type of practice.
These different models help you examine all practice areas, professionalism and ethical and legal aspects of training, but they may focus more on particular areas.
Common models used are the Process model or the
Tip 3: Ask questions and find out how the supervisor works before committing to sessions.
What delivery method will work best for you?
You could meet face to face in an agreed venue, but that will incur travelling costs. Yet face to face meetings is an excellent way to develop the supervisory relationship.
You could have supervision online. Online supervision might not work for you if you don’t like technology. However, this is much more cost-effective. This is a common practice now, and it means that you can choose the supervisor who best meets your needs wherever they are in the world.
Some people choose an individual session devoted to you the whole time. This method is perfect for new practitioners as practice can be discussed in depth.
If finances are a problem or if you prefer group interaction, group supervision might be a better choice for you.
Peer supervision might be a choice for experienced practitioners.
Tip 4: Decide on how you want supervision delivered to meet your personal and work needs. Remember, there are pros and cons with each way of providing supervision.
Agree on your roles and how you will work together
Planning supervision before starting is a good idea because you both know how you will work together.
An agreement between the supervisor and the supervisee is a good idea. It will highlight roles and responsibilities, cost per session, session length, and if additional support is offered between sessions.
The role of supervision is functional, educative, supportive and managerial. The supervisor doesn’t provide a counselling role but will support. Supervisors won’t tell you what you must do in practice as they are not with you in the room when you help clients, but they can strongly advise where they have concerns or other things.
Often there are roles for the supervise, such as keeping in contact and providing adequate time if meetings need to be changed. However, an essential part for you is to discuss your clients by bringing the facts, how the treatment makes you feel and any other factors affecting the client interaction. It’s also your role to keep a record of your supervision although some supervisors will provide a report for your professional body if required.
Of course, all the roles depend on you both being open and honest. It’s about building a trustworthy relationship where you know that what you say is confidential. This means that if you have problems, you can discuss them.
Tip 5: Always have an agreement, so you both know your roles and responsibilities in supervision.
Finally, finding a suitable supervisor.
There is no exact science of what a good supervisor is as it’s a unique relationship to help you and your clients.
It is your responsibility to find the supervisor that fits your needs, budget and way of working.
Costs of supervision vary, and the price isn’t always a good measure of the quality of the supervision provided.
And because you are the customer, you can change supervisors or ways of receiving supervision whenever you wish.
You do not need to stay with the same supervisor throughout your career. However, many people find that changing supervisors is good to get different perspectives on practice.
As many hypnotherapists work alone, getting a good supervisor is important.