I understand supervision as a process of consultation and collaboration. I prefer not to see it as a process in which I offer you my expert opinion. Rather as a reflective exploration where we can consider the therapeutic relationship and how it is impacting on the client, on you, and also on me. In this way we focus on the relationships involved, rather than the ‘object’ of attention being the client.

In my experience; when difficulties occur in the therapeutic relationship, if the therapist attends to what is troubling them and can find some understanding of this, then the impasse or stuckness can be attended to.

As an integrative supervisor with a philosophy underpinned by beliefs of egalitarianism and anti oppression, I consider that issues brought to supervision may not be understood solely through a reflection of clients psychopathology and self.

In my supervision practice I have been strongly influenced by the suggestion that if we are able to approach the endeavour with curiosity and willingness to be changed and impacted by the client, then the client will benefit immeasurably.

I like the idea that there are three types of supervisor - the potter, the gardener and the jug. The potter moulds the supervisee after their own image; the jug pours information into the passive recipient and the gardener promotes growth by providing the soil, tending, watering, giving the right amount of light and trusting to the innate process thus providing an opportunity for the whole garden to yield great growth. I hope that I am such a gardener.

Rachel Behrens