Is a process that develops, resources and supports people at work.  Supervision not only serves the purpose of understanding and furthering best practice, preventing burnout and stress but, it also provides the conditions in which supervisees can learn and flourish – this allows them to be able to work at their best.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy recommends supervision for “anyone working in roles that require regularly giving or receiving emotionally challenging communications or engaging in relationally complex roles”

Examples of these roles are (but not limited to) counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor, coach, pastoral care worker, trainer, educator, researcher, mental health first aider, support staff in refuges/hostels/hospice, emergency services workers and anyone who manages them.

Supervision explained

In supervision the supervisee gets the opportunity to stand back and reflect on their work in a safe, respectful place, with someone, who is professionally trained, whose responsibility is to help support their learning, development and ultimately help them do their job well.

A Supervisor does this by:

  • providing a regular safe and contained space to inspire the supervisee and to reflect upon the content and process of their work

  • helping supervisees develop more understanding and enhance their skills within their work

  • validating and supporting the supervisee as a person and a worker

  • encouraging the supervisee to share the content and process of their work

  • helping the supervisee to be proactive rather than reactive as well as containing

  • listening to the supervisee’s work and offering other perspectives

  • ensuring that the supervisee is not left unnecessarily alone with difficulties, projections and problems

  • offering the supervisee, a space to explore and express personal distress, transference or countertransference issues and restimulation that may have been triggered by their work

  • helping the supervisee to plan and utilise their personal and professional resources better

Primarily supervision entails reflection and evaluation of professional practice for those undertaking challenging work with people.  It is not therapy and it is not management. 

Useful facts about Supervision

mHarp Supervisors are professionally trained and registered with the UKCP or BACP.  They have worked for many years as Psychotherapists and Counsellors before deciding to become supervisors and received many hours of supervision themselves.  Furthermore, their own is ongoing as this is a part of their ethical framework and this, helps them to develop their skills as supervisors and mostly importantly provides part of their self-care.  Many have been trained in the Seven Eyed Model created by Hawkins & Shohet.


Clear contracting forms the boundaries and baseline of the supervisory relationship.  The contract is the framework and agreed way of working and reviewed as and when necessary. During the contracting process we agree frequency and times of sessions, discuss the needs of both the organisation and supervisee, levels of confidentiality, interaction between different stakeholders, ongoing commitment, record keeping and cost.  All this and getting a feel for your organisation will be covered in the Initial Supervision Consultation.   Before we start working together, we endeavour to gather as much information as we can.

Lack of supervision can lead to;

*  staleness * rigidity * defensiveness * burnout * feeling drained * stress * poor mental health *  drop in work standards * organisational conflict and acting out within the workplace