The practice psychologists who also work as in house Psychology Supervisors bring a wealth of knowledge to our Psych-Ed © students. Our supervisors have completed the Psychology Accreditation Program in Australia and are listed by the AHPRA the Psychology Board of Australia to train and approve competencies in psychological practice. Our supervisors are highly skilled in many areas of psychology. Students will work closely with each supervisor in their administration role at the clinic during the first two stages and learn directly from our current intern psychologists about the requirements and process for registration. Some of our supervisors hold endorsement in areas like clinical psychology, organisational psychology or have completed a research PhD.
Students in our Psych-Ed © program have direct access to and will work alongside their potential future supervisory team from day one. Currently, no other psychology training program in Australia provides such unprecedented and open access to private practice psychologists. It is important that psychology students learn about the diversity of the psychology profession and being in Australia’s largest psychology centres makes it easier to access the information missing in undergraduate degrees about the practice of psychology in the real world.
Supervision is something we are asked to do as part of our professional development, both during the registration years and then beyond. The core aim of supervision is to improve our work. In doing so, for me there is the parallel idea that we are creating a better, more effective version of us as psychologists. Let me explain.
Supervision is designed to be experiential learning, where we learn from doing. We review and reflect on what we have done and who we understand ourselves to be in the work role, then take this knowledge as a base for improvement. Supervision challenges us to change our practice for the better, by expanding our practice knowledge and addressing how we work through outcome oriented means. In this way we each adapt over time, reworking the clay to more advanced forms.
I feel the supervisor’s role is to create a constructive and collaborative learning space. I want to assist with meeting your training needs; for example in standards of practice, client services, developing skill sets in evidence based therapies, enhanced reflective practice, or evaluating efficacy. Both strengths and weaknesses need attention. I believe we should not just be competent, but confident professionals.
Also, ethics are central to supervision. I enjoy this topic and agree with Aristotle’s idea that an ethical life is a happy life – when we work in accordance to the framework of integrity in practice then our practice tends to be fulfilling as it has greatly reduced stress. Being an active participant in supervision promotes accountability to multiple stakeholders: our clients, our employers, our professional networks, and to ourselves.
In the first five minutes of a consultation, a new client once asked me why it was I did what I did. It was a question borne of deep (and understandable) mistrust, scepticism and suspicion. It was a question also borne of hope, tremendous courage and adaptive self-preservation. Before he was prepared to disclose his inner landscape or answer any of my annoyingly invasive and probing personal questions – he quite rightly – wanted to know what my agenda was in all of this. I took a deep breathe, paused to search myself and gather my thoughts in order to be able to do this question and this client justice. In that moment, I was acutely aware that I was being ‘tested’: were my motivations an acceptable fit for this collaborative therapeutic endeavour; was I prepared to be honest and respectful; was I a living breathing human prepared to relate to him as such; or was I full of good old fashioned BS? Essentially – was I a safe person; was this a safe space.
As psychologists we are tested frequently, in a variety of ways, on numerous levels. This aspect of our work, the inherent complex problem solving challenges, the demands placed on our interpersonal and communication skills, the imperative to be self-aware and continually self-monitoring, and to keep abreast of developments in the field is something I find deeply rewarding and stimulating. It can also be exhausting and emotionally confronting.
I view my role as supervisor as being a guide, support, mentor, teacher, companion, witness, protector, advocate and collaborator to interns in their journey into the profession. As they begin to face some of these challenges and tests it is imperative that they have access to supervision which incrementally builds their awareness, competence, empathy, self-care practices, reflective and analytical skills, and connection to and enjoyment of their work. I feel deeply privileged to be able to contribute meaningfully to developing the next generation of capable, well-rounded and professionally enriched psychologists.
In terms of my specific credentials and areas of interest, I am STAP-accredited to supervise psychology interns undertaking a 4+2 pathway to professional registration. Much like my client work, my approach to supervision demonstrates a commitment to collaboration, clarity, mutual respect, quality practice, continuous learning, problem solving, honesty and integrity.
I am best placed to contribute to intern training in the area of adult psychotherapy, particularly with respect to:
- Development of fundamental counselling skills
- Case conceptualisation and formulation
- Therapeutic Knowledge
- Client History Taking
- Cognitive Interventions
- Behavioural Interventions
- ACT Therapy
- DBT Skills and Therapeutic Approach
- Understanding Trauma and Developing a Trauma-Informed Approach to Treatment
- Trauma Focussed Interventions
- Ethical Practice
- Managing Professional Boundaries
- Complex Problem Solving
- Reflective Practice and Self Care
I strive to role model the competencies required for successful, satisfying and capable practice, in a manner which embodies approachability and authenticity. I generously share my knowledge, experience, successes, mistakes, insights, feedback and resources and believe firmly that my role as supervisor adds greatly to my own practice.
Supervision is a special and important part of the practice of clinical and counselling psychology. Ideally, it ensures that psychologists are adhering to the highest ethical standards, using up-to-date, evidence-based treatments, and managing their own wellbeing, which is a key ingredient in a psychologist’s ability to help others to heal. I supervise trainee psychologists, practicing general and clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals. My clinical expertise includes working with adults using EMDR, schema therapy, ego state therapy and CBT.
Good supervision provides a private and protective, but at the same time challenging environment in which psychologists can explore the most significant difficulties in their current practice. It is important that supervisees feel comfortable enough to be honest about the difficulties they experience, and it is the role of the supervisor to provide a supportive and non-judgmental space for the supervisee. Difficulties may include cases in which the supervisees feel a need for assistance, areas of therapy or research that they would like to know better or use at in a more skilled fashion, or personal or systemic concerns that are affecting their therapeutic practice.
I love supervising for many reasons. It is a privilege to be part of the supportive system that is building the next generation of therapists, and I particularly enjoy watching people build confidence as they acquire new skills and develop mastery of new areas. I love learning from my trainees, through their cases, their work contexts, and from their expertise. I enjoy the challenge of staying current with psychological therapies, and the clarity that I get in my own practice from explaining and justifying the use of the specific interventions in specific contexts. I also enjoy being part of the containing, and emotional and intellectual processing that therapists need in order to remain healthy while doing our challenging work- I know I appreciate having this in my own clinical work.