|What is group supervision?
Group supervision with Family Support Workers was the subject of my doctoral thesis in 2010, please click here to read the abstract.
Group supervision is an approach I have used with groups of about 6-10 professionals to create
a community of learners and to support their emotional well-being. It is intended to complement individual supervision approaches.
Who is it for?
Group supervision is a method that can be used to support those who
work in the helping professions such as Portage workers, family Support
Workers, teachers, teaching assistants and many others. This is intended to support the
professionals who attend to develop their skills and understanding, to
manage the emotions and stress raised by their work and to ensure work is ethical and appropriate.
How does it work?
sessions last 1 1/2 to 2 hours and are run approximately once every 6
to 8 weeks at a location convenient for the group of professionals. A professional contract is drawn up with managers of the professional in the group (if appropriate) to discuss possible content of the group, reporting back formats, frequency and other issues. Ground rules are drawn up with the group to agree what can be discussed, apporaches used, venue and other aspects of the group.
Who have you used group supervision with?
I have used group supervision approaches with Family
Support Workers in Children’s
Centres, Family Support Workers for schools, Children’s Centre teachers, Children’s Centre managers,
workers and Area SENCos.
Resources used to support group supervision
- Hawkins, P & Shohet, R (2006) Supervision in the helping professions (3rd ed) Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw Hill Publications
- Newton, C (1995) 'Circles of adults', Educational Psychology in Practice, 11 (2), pp 8-14
- Pearpoint, J & Forrest, M (2002) Solution Circles, Toronto:Inclusion Press
- Proctor, B (2000) Group supervision London: Sage Publications
- Scaife, J (2001) Supervision in the Mental Health Professions: A Practitioner's Guide, Hove: Routledge
If this is an aspect of this work you feel would benefit your organisation, please contact me
The group supervision that Anita runs has benefitted me in
many ways. I have been able to learn from colleagues who have different
experiences and backgrounds. I have also been given the opportunity to share my
skills and give advice thus developing my confidence. Anita has helped me to
see situations from a different perspective and to be more reflective. Her
input is always backed by sound theoretical knowledge but she is able to
present this in an accessible, meaningful and interesting way.
The situations that we bring to the meetings are frequently
sensitive and complex. The types of situations that can keep you awake at night
wondering if you have done the right thing or if you have covered every option.
Anita is very thorough and supportive in her response. As a result I never feel
that I have solely been given a single solution. I come away with a wider
perspective and a choice of strategies and solutions to disseminate and also to
use for myself. Anita also has this skill of making you feel as if you have
been part of generating the solution which is very empowering.
Samantha Belton, Area SENCo, Early Years Childcare Service, Worcestershire
I would like to commend Anita on
the way she has facilitated our group supervision sessions. Anita has shown insightful
guidance: allowing discussion and encouraging participation but skilfully
bringing things back 'on topic' or using reflective questioning to help the
group explore issues in more detail. It is a testament to Anita's skill and
empathy that she has such a lightness of touch and is so effective in helping
everyone to relax and get the most out of the time together – even at the
beginning when she didn't know us that well.
I feel that Anita would be a
valuable asset to whatever organisation, group or individual she worked with. I
certainly feel that she has helped my practice improve and develop through her
relaxed, fluent and seemingly effortless skills to facilitate a focussed group
discussion – enabling everyone to benefit from the group's collective knowledge
and experience. I would welcome the opportunity
to work with Anita again in the future.
Andrew Pritchard, Early Intervention Family Support Worker, Bromsgrove