Monthly Supervision Group

The Friday afternoon supervision group is an open drop in group. It is open to CSTD postgraduates, trainees and invited guests and is now in its 5th year.
It is helpful to get an idea of how many are coming to know what size of room to book, and it is fine to turn up on the day if you have been before. It meets approximately once a month (except in August) on a Friday afternoon usually 4 - 6. Please always check for date, time and facilitator as sometimes these may need to change.The cost is £5 per session to cover the cost of the room hire and is held at CCPE. It is currently facilitated by either Joan or Robin and is also open to guest facilitators who would like the opportunity to facilitate the group in their own particular style of supervision.


Next group - Friday 21st December 4-6pm - At the last Friday group when I checked the next date several people said it was too near Christmas for them to come.  So here is my suggestion that I hold it at my home and if anyone does want to come they email me and if there are 3 or more people I will run it on December 21st at home (19 McGregor Rd, London W11 1DE  - nearest tube - Westbourne Park 2  stops from Paddington). 
Warm wishes  Joan

2019 dates

25 January 4-6pm  Pre- and Perinatal Themes in Supervision.  With Robin Shohet and Cherionna Menzam-Sills

Please can you contact Joan if you are coming

Venue: CCPE Beauchamp Lodge, 2 Warwick Crescent, London W2 6NE, UK

Reflections from previous meetings

Friday 30th November - 4-6pm Theme: Using Constellation work in one to one supervision

November 2nd
5 - 7pm
Using Improvisation Drama as a form of supervision
Please note later time 5 - 7pm (as it follows on from the first day of the Advanced course)
Improv is great fun, but the fundamental principles of accepting offers, paying attention to others, advancing the action and supporting others to look good are relevant to supervision and to life.  Shane O’Brien and Robin have devised exercises to help make this connection to supervision and are running a whole day on November 10th.

September 21st
Theme: I need a diploma.  Is that true?  Many of you will recognise the question which comes from the Work of Byron Katie.  She asks the question Is that true? to help people enquire into their belief systems.  In the last year or two we have noticed in all professions the increased drive for qualifications and accreditation. For many years our certificate has been the norm but increasingly we are  being asked to put on a diploma.  We have responded to this by introducing a diploma (next intake November 2018 for a contracting day and the diploma starting in February 2019.)  We are doing this for the love of taking learning further, intending to make it as much peer and self assessment as we can.  However as a profession we think it is important to look at the fear in the zeitgeist around qualifications.  What does it mean and how much are we buying into it individually and collectively? 

Friday 13 July 4-6pm - 
Supervision as spiritual practice with Robin Shohet

Friday 22 June 4-6pm - Theme: Reflective Writing in Supervision, with Monica Suswin.   The exploratory process of writing offers psychotherapists and counsellors a creative way of unravelling their responses to clients or patients. Monica introduced the varied strategies used in reflective writing, and suggested experiential exercises for the group to do and discuss.    Monica is the author of a series of books on creative therapeutic writing. With a background in humanistic psychotherapy, she runs workshops on the Healing Power of Writing. Monica has been published in the Writing for Therapy or Personal Development Series (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) and holds an MA in Creative Writing.   For more information about Monica and Writing from her new website click here

Thursday 24 May 4-6pm - facilitated by Joan Wilmot 'Work is Love in Action' Peter Caddy.

Friday 27 April 4-6pm -  Mode VII  The wider system

Friday 16 March 4-6pm -  Mode VI  The supervisor's countertransference

Friday 9 February 4-6pm -  Mode V Parallel Process

Friday 12 January 4-6pm -  Mode IV

Friday 1 December 4-6pm -Mode III

Friday 3 November 4-6pm - Mode II

Friday 22nd September 4-6pm - Mode I

Friday 14th July 4-6pm  Robin and Joan were holding the theme: The Seduction of the Victim, Persecutor, Rescuer triangle

Friday 23rd June 2-4pm This group was led by Ikuko Subiger who is a supervisor in training with CSTD, and works as a couple and family counsellor in private practice and at Relate.

Her interest in family dynamics led to exploring constellations, and finding out we are all constantly in relationship with others and ideas, objects around us. So the theme was constellations in organisations, families and other groups of people, including how client-therapist-supervisor dynamics affect us as practitioners.

Friday 19th May 2017 2-4pm
This week a therapist shared that there had been a noticeable increase in the number of people coming to them with anxiety and panic attacks and wondering why that was. Afterwards thinking about their remark I thought that would be useful theme to explore in the group, whether other people were experiencing something similar, had examples and why it might be.  Joan Wilmot was holding this group.

Friday 28 April 2017 - 4-6pm with Robin Shohet

Friday 24 March 2017 2 - 4pm
with Joan Wilmot  It was a two hour group supervision focussing particularly on stuckness, resistance and so called mistakes in the supervisory relationship.

Friday 10 February 2017 4-6pm " I want what she's having”.  How do we get work as supervisors?  How do we take supervision into places where we want to work? How do we  introduce supervision into our current places of work? - Joan Wilmot

Friday 27th January 2017 from 2-4pm The theme was Improvisation Drama as a Therapeutic Tool - Robin Shohet and Shane O’Brien

Friday 13th January 2017 from 2-4pm The theme was Superstition in Supervision - share your fantasies, fears, fictions and anything else that lurks in your work! Joseph Wilmot  

9th December 2016 2-4pm This Friday was a two hour supervision group and we reviewed at some point around half way to see if there are any emerging themes. As it was December there were mince pies. 

25th November 2016- 4-6pm -The theme was following on from the last session, Is there a boundary between the personal and the professional?  Of course that leads into many more questions - should there be, who decides?, how you would recognise it?, what to do when you are on it or off it? and so on....

7th October 2016 4-6pm  This was a two hour supervision group so everyone can have chance to give and receive supervision.  We divided the time according to the the number of people attending finishing with 10 mins each way co supervision in pairs.  We had 10 people and no theme.  I suggested a structure in which we divided the time equally between us which resulted in 10 minute sessions which 8 people took including myself and which we stopped at 10 minutes wherever we were in the work.  It was very alive work with the themes emerging from the work - in Playback theatre they call it 'the red thread' that runs through all the stories in any performance however different they may appear on the content level.  I recall some of them - 'rules' was a big one, vulnerability, boundaries.... and from that came the impulse to continue with this into the next group with the question (as someone once said all we can do is aspire to the next question):-   Joan

23rd September  4-6pm
The theme was The Business of Supervision.  Joan Wilmot was holding the theme, Working self employed not only means reflecting on the sessions with our clients or agencies but also the business of  how much to charge, how much work to take on, the contract with each client or agency.  Having been asked these questions by several people recently we thought it would be a good topic for the Friday group where we can share our experiences in the sometimes isolated business of being a sole trader.

8 July 4-6pm - The theme was Fear of making mistakes and causing damage, shame and not knowing and the session was facilitated by Robin Shohet.

10 June 2-4pm
- This group was facilitated by Joseph Wilmot and the theme was
Authenticity and Authority.  What is the difference between being authoritative and having authority? I’ve always been interested in authenticity, although as a child I thought that meant being honest. I’ve recently been exploring and working with qualities instead of competencies. In systems (such as organisations), I believe we can become too reliant on competencies and outputs. When this happens, how can one stay in relationship and act with authenticity, integrity or authority? I will invite the group to explore this in their work and look at the qualities we use or embody to achieve this.

13 May 2016 2-4pm - This group was facilitated by Jadzia Kruklinski and the theme was: Support and Challenge within a number of contexts, such as supervision, therapy, work groups etc. Jadzia is a Psychotherapist & Supervisor in private practice and her interest stems from recent supervision groups where supervisees seem to be holding and working with their clients in a space that seems to provide more support than challenge. Jadzia is interested in exploring what support and challenge means within a therapeutic (and other) context and how as supervisors, therapists, coaches we may be creating a less meaningful learning environment because of our own fears of using a challenging intervention/style to further our work and thereby prevent our clients in developing self-agency.

8 April 2016 2-4pm- facilitated by Joan Wilmot  It was a 2 hour supervision session with a review at 3ish to see if there were common themes.

11 March 2016 - 2-4pm  Christa Scholtz facilitated this group.  About Christa - I did my MA in transpersonal psychotherapy at CCPE and did the Supervision training with CSTD. Before that I worked in the arts in theatre, film and TV. I have dyslexia and therefore silence and anger had a huge impact on me in relations to this human difference.  I am the founder of FreshStart Psychotherapy which I set up in 1999 which offers long term low cost therapy to clients on benefits, part time work or low paying work.

Over the last 20 years I have supervised qualified therapists as well as trainee therapists and social work students. In my experience people are told to work with anger and silence, but they are not told how. There is very little discussion about how or when or what?  If a therapist does not feel comfortable working with anger or silence, in my experience it can be very traumatising for both the client as well as the therapist.  I am looking forward to ideas and sharing practice and knowledge on these two issues. 

12 February 2016 4-6pm The theme for the two sessions in January and February is, ' How do we learn?' and 'How we struggle to learn'.  Biddy Youell talks about the 'The Learning Relationship' in her book of the same name and Tamara Bibby in her book 'Education - The Impossible Profession?'  talks about the struggles and resistance to learning.

15 January 2 - 4pm facilitated by Joan Wilmot - The theme for the two sessions in January and February is, ' How do we learn?' and 'How we struggle to learn'.  Biddy Youell talks about the 'The Learning Relationship' in her book of the same name and Tamara Bibby in her book 'Education - The Impossible Profession?'  talks about the struggles and resistance to learning. For notes from the session please contact Joan Wilmot

Friday 18 December 2 - 4pm  Robin and Shane - Theme is Using drama in supervision.

20th November 2-4 Joan and Robin  The theme for the first hour will will be our assumptions, our core beliefs and our 'idealogical editor' (Kevlin F. page 97 Supervision in the Helping Professions, 4th edition) that colour how we see the supervisee and the client and view them 'through our own belief and value system'.  These are often out of our awareness so how do we become aware of them?

9th October 2-4pm

25 September 4-6pm Joan facilitated this group.  The theme was Wholeheartedness.

August - no meeting

10 July 4-6pm
Joan facilitated this group.

5 June 2-4pm
The session was facilitated by Joe Wilmot. The settings and contexts in which we work involve different roles and responsibilities. These determine our approach to the work and can present us with a complex and changing landscape to navigate. Joseph Wilmot and Joan Wilmot want to explore work and supervision within different relational contexts. Their relationship encompasses the familial, collegial, organisational and beyond. The group was invited to explore and share their own experience of relationships in their work.

8 May 2-4pm -
Jadzia Kruklinski -The theme: Support and Challenge within a number of contexts, such as supervision, therapy, work groups etc. Jadzia Kruklinski, Psychotherapist & Supervisor in private practice facilitated the supervision group. My interest stems from recent supervision groups where supervisees seem to be holding and working with their clients in a space that seems to provide more support than challenge. I am interested in exploring what support and challenge means within a therapeutic (and other) context and how as supervisors, therapists, coaches we may be creating a less meaningful learning environment because of our own fears of using a challenging intervention/style to further our work and thereby prevent our clients in developing self-agency.

17 April 2-4pm
Kitty Clark presented for an hour on her work as a child and family counsellor since 2005. She has a special interest in working with children with complex emotional trauma and dissociation, and it's impact on learning and the school experience.   She led an exercise she gives the children which is to do a 'feeling picture'.  She introduces it is like an X-ray machine to see inside our body and locate where are feelings and which feelings are where.  We had an outline drawing of a person and colours as she says feelings have colours.  As we had limited time she gave us four feelings to map - happy, angry, sad, scared.  She presented some of the children she works with.  It was fascinating to see how the children could describe how their thoughts and feelings worked, how their brains worked and how different sub personalities develop to survive and how in the therapy they move towards integrating them.  She saw fear and love as the main drivers.

The presentation in the group supervision was interesting in that the personal, the systemic and the parallel processes all gradually emerged out of the story.   Was there a problem and if so who owned the problem?  So there was the supervisor and the supervisee and two organisations all with their own cultures, histories and rules, both explicit and implicit, and all these overlapping and partly visible through the parallel process. Information went missing or got repressed as there was no place set up with all these systems might talk to each other.

6 March 2 - 4pm Susan Berry and Pernille Finegan were co-running the group.  Their theme: "What are the self-destructive tendencies that we can get caught up in as supervisors and supervisees?"  It is taken from a quotation from page 16 of the Core manual, paragraph 3.

5 December 2 - 4pm
As usual the second half of the group will be group supervision and for the first half Robin and I would like to try out the inquiry/review interview we have been working on for a few weeks now.  We will bring copies of it on Friday and and also if we have time email it to you before Friday. The context for the inquiry form is the self, supervisor and peer assessment certificate process.  We are still keeping the 360 questionnaire for the self assessment (which we now do in the Advanced) and peer part of the certificate process but Robin and I wanted to create a more interactive inquiry document for the review/conversations between trainee supervisor and their supervisor and between the trainee and their two supervises so that is what we designed it for.  However we are delighted that we are already getting feedback that people see it as something they can use in their work.  So that is the context and feel free to use it how you want.

10 October  2 - 4pm
The theme is 'finding supervisees'.  We can look at this from a business point of view, a psychological perspective and systemically. We have been asked about finding supervises several times recently and as it is a requirement of the certificate to have supervisees - not the training - we wanted to engage in the question collectively.  Started the discussion in the current Core training in London and am looking forward to continuing it in the next group.

11 July  4 - 6pm
We tried a slightly different format the last couple of times in that we started with supervision and then looked to see if there were some common themes or threads and then see how we wanted to attend to them.  This time we had a theme for the first hour and group supervision for the second hour. 

Jaya Ward Craniosacral Therapist offered the theme.  5 minutes exercises from chi kung, yoga, and craniosacral therapy.  Awareness of your own physical body sensations and emotions helps keep you differentiated and resourced during supervision sessions, and also gives your clues about what your client may be experiencing.

25 April  4 - 6pm
A colleague of ours, Christina Breene, presented the theme - Time to Think - a book by Nancy Kline for the first hour of the meeting.  She works as a coach and supervisor and is part of developing this model with Nancy Kline.  She is a Time to Think consultant, coach and facilitator. The method offers space to reflect in a structured way that is different from most of our usual interactions.  Joan and I have found it very valuable personally and professionally.

Professor Paul Brown said of the method. "I think I know why this works. I think this quality of attention and it's generative silence calm the amygdalae, open the limbic system & hold it open, so the brain can rearrange the architecture of the client's life (both neurologically and metaphorically). It is I think the quality of the attention, of the silence, that allies for this calming and sustained opening. It is not that as therapists and coaches we have never done this - we have of course. But haphazardly; whereas in this process it happens every time."

14 March  2 - 4pm
Robin and Joan away so it will be a peer group with Ann Beynon and Sue Dives holding the focus. 

7 February  2 - 4pm
We had a good 2 hour group supervision.  There were 8 of us.  There were common themes around holding the container; boundaries and contracts and the supervisory relationship.

10 January  2 - 4pm
Joan's write up.  The topic for the group last Friday was based on a book by Ben and Roz Zander The Art of Possibility: Transforming Personal and Professional Life.  The title itself could be seen as a way of looking at  supervision.  We decided that presenting a book that related to supervision would work well and be an option for future groups - see April group below.

A central theme is that everything is a story, made up, so how do we make up or attach to a creative expansive story rather than a contracted, ‘downward spiral’.  Ben and Roz Zander see personality or the ‘measuring’, calculating self or survival thinking’ as developed in early childhood as survival strategies that we continue with in adulthood when they are  out of date and based on unexamined and faulty core beliefs.  The ideas tie in with appreciative inquiry; life is a mystery to be embraced; - not attaching to the' pain body ‘Eckhart Tolle; ‘There is a field beyond right and wrong I’ll meet you there’ Rumi; ‘Everything is a story - if it works, keep it, if not inquire’ Byron Katie.

So the question is how do we move ourselves, our clients and supervisees from 'the old story’, the  drama triangle, the limiting core beliefs and survival thinking (fear based) to the 'new story’.  We are very attached to our identities/personalities and even if they don’t always work and are based on false assumptions they are very convincing as Jill Bolte Taylor wrote about in her book ‘At a Stroke"  when she began to recover and her ‘personality began to come back on line’.  One strategy the Zanders propose is Rule 6 which is ‘Don’t take yourself so goddam seriously’. And the other 5 rules? - ‘There aren’t any’.  So how to do that that doesn’t marginalise the pain and past wounds and retraumatise ourselves and others? We engage through relationship and resist making the other ‘other’, and again that is an ongoing process. 

Below are the one phrase summaries of the people at the group. 
Expanding possibilities
Seeing the bigger picture, me included
The answer to the adapted child that grows into the measuring adult.
Experiencing contribution ( as opposed to deficit)
The rich resources of group supervision whatever the size of group
Supervision is collectively creative
Th ethics of enquiry rather than of rules
'Obedience keeps the rules, love knows when to break them’.  Anthony de Mello


22 November  4 - 6pm
Robin Shohet leading on the theme Projective Identification

11 October  2 - 4pm 'Facilitation skills vs Expert knowledge' - Jadzia Kruklinski
A member of the group shared her experience of providing a counselling/support service within an educational setting, through the process of supervision. There seemed to be a consensus to discuss the notion of whether or not a facilitator needs to hold 'expert' knowledge of the industry/area of work or hold the process through their facilitation skills.

The discussion that followed raised a number of interesting considerations, such as:
Gaining Entry - how easy is it to gain entry into an industry/sector if one does not hold ‘the knowledge’
Holding the Process – the importance of the facilitator feeling confident to hold the process based on their facilitation skills as opposed to ‘the knowledge.’  This led onto a discussion around the recognition that knowledge is no longer seen as the only way to ‘manage;’ the recognition that management is a skill in its own right  - the advent of management ‘competencies’ as opposed to management  ‘knowledge.’  However, is was recognised that many organisations still opt for the latter in the hope that it will somehow address/support the lack of ‘management skills.’ In light of this there was agreement that facilitation is a skill in its own right.
Double Loop Learning (the work of Chris Argyris)
Holding onto knowledge creates a power base - experts hold onto it rather than feedback knowledge/learning into the organisation. The key point here seemed be the reluctance of some ‘leaders’ in organistions to let go of power; the concept of double loop learning requires knowledge/learning to be disseminated throughout the organisation in order to promote and sustain organisational and individual growth.
Fear of addressing issues below the waterline - the things we experience - the lived reality. So in an educational setting the lived reality is that I have to cope; be there for the pupils not ourselves; invariably it’s structures/policies/procedures that form the frame of reference in dealing with issues /problems as oppossed to addressing inter/intra personal – what’s in the relational field that needs to be attended to/what is my contribution? Also fear of letting go of what I know – undoing and re-learning.
Zones of learning - comfortable/discomfort/disabling.  We concluded that maybe dealing with issues above the waterline holds people in the comfortable zone – ‘this is what I know’ as opposed to entering the zone of discomfort, where the most meaningful learning can take place.  I recall that Robin said he had to face his discomfort by looking at the video of the conferance – has he entred the ZONE yet?! Most learning takes place in the zone of discomfort, if we coud only allow ourselves to stay there long enough.
Boerk's model – the above led onto a discussion about being aware of conscious incompetence and whether staying in the comfort zone supports us from addressing our conscious incompetence.
Culture - we know/over focus on structure/content rather than process interactions/meaningful dialogue; this is how it’s done here.
Outsider -  has no agenda sees things from a different perspective/asks seeking questions/could be perceived as a threat.

20 September  4 - 6pm In the 'topic hour’ Ann Beynon explored ways of offering supervision to professional practitioners other than counsellors and therapists, based on her experience of working with teachers.

12 July 2013  4 - 6pm The topic was Introducing supervision to non- therapists i.e. people like teachers, doctors who work with people but don't necessarily subscribe to supervision, with a brief supervision session.

21 June 2013  2 - 4pm The topic for the first hour proposed by Diane Rode is the expression (overt and covert) of compassion fatigue/secondary trauma in the workplace.

In addition to Robin and Joan there were fifteen participants.

The topic suggested by Diane Rode was secondary trauma and compassion fatigue.  Diane started by describe her work briefly and a situation from her work around a dying child which had left many of her staff affected.  Guilt was mentioned as one of the factors that increased stress i.e. 'if only I could have done more'.  Joan noticed she could either focus on her individual responses or share a personal story.  There seemed a need for stories to be heard and several people told stories of where they had felt it difficult to cope.  Coping strategies had included denial, anger, intellectualisation, all usually quite unsuccessful.  Robin read a piece from Ram Dass, 'How Can I Help'.

'Without minimising the external demands of helping others, it seems fair to say that some of the factors that wear us down we seem to have brought with us at the outset. Along with our clean shirt, good intentions, and eagerness to serve, we've carried a number of needs and expectations. Sometimes burnout is simply our motives coming home to roost.'

He also mentioned a book 'We are all in Shock' by Stephanie Mines.  One of the aspects of shock that she mentions is how shock remains in the body and can re-shock.  We noticed that in the group as we told our stories.  In fact it seemed an important balance to share the stories past and current and to comment on the impact they were having as we listened and told.  We might well re-visit this theme as it is big.  The second half was a group supervision as usual.

The topic for next time by Ann was introducing supervision to non- therapists i.e. people like teachers, doctors who work with people but don't necessarily subscribe to supervision. Richard suggested adding brief supervision i.e. on the hoof or informal.