Massage therapist and company director

‘I first came across the concept of supervision on a train journey with a friend who is a supervisor for psychotherapists; she was on her way to a ‘Supervision for supervisors’ course in London. I was intrigued to hear that supervision is compulsory for psychotherapists, but I had at that stage not heard of it being available for massage therapists.

Even when I did find out a few weeks later that Sally Blades does run supervision groups for complementary therapists, and felt that this was an absolutely great thing… I still resisted signing up for supervision myself for many months! Looking back I can see that this was mostly through fear I could absolutely see the sense in doing it but was afraid of facing up to issues relating to my practice, as on the surface everything was going so very well.

To be more accurate it was fear of even admitting that I might have any issues relating to my practice, and during my first (group) session I sat there thinking to myself as others were speaking “hmm that’s really interesting but doesn’t really apply to me…” and “hmm glad I don’t have that problem… tra laah”.

Then right at the end (I’d asked for just five minutes to speak myself) as I started to speak, I felt a whole mass of things welling up in me. There was not enough time to even list them all but my acknowledgement of them was an enormous step. I felt safe enough in the group to begin this process.

I realised after this first session how important it was for me to open up and deal with these things and I have since had regular one-to-one sessions with Sally.

I am sure that the success of the process is dependant in part on the willingness and ability of the supervisee to be open, honest and genuinely wishing to move forward, and in part on the quality of the supervisory relationship and the trust held within this. I have found that with Sally I am able to open up without fear of judgement and I feel I have moved forward in each session gaining valuable insight into and understanding of myself, my practice (in a strange way as I am now taking a break from practice) and also in of the wider picture of living, communicating and feeling fulfilled in life. I have found tools that are applicable and helpful everyday and I have a place where I am absolutely honest to myself.

I am now a firm believer that regular supervision should be allowed a place in every therapist’s life not just psychotherapists but all therapists. In practice there is a danger that we can feel (because of a wish to be perceived as already perfect and doing all the right things) above the need for therapy ourselves. In fact I now believe the opposite to be the case in order to practice responsibly and grow in ourselves and our practice we must keep an honest check on our own issues and supervision provides the confidential and safe environment necessary for this.’

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