Supervision in the Helping Professions

4th Edition - 2012

By Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet, with contributions by Judy Ryde and Joan Wilmot.
Published by Open University Press.

This book, on which much of the material for our courses is based, explores the purposes, models and different forms of supervision in the helping and people professions.

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The first edition (1989) was described as a 'ground-breaking' book in the development of supervision and supervisor training. The second edition came out in 2000, third edition in 2006 and the 4th edition in 2012.  It is a seminal text which has sold 100,000 copies and been translated into eight languages. ISBN 0-335243118

If you are a supervisor in one of the helping professions, and particularly if you are responsible for training other supervisors, then this book is essential reading for you.  It explores the purposes, models and different forms of supervision in counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, community work, occupational and creative therapy, and the probation and prison services. Similarly, if you work in any of these professions and are interested in finding out more about how to obtain the support and supervision that you need, then this book with also be valuable reading for you.

The first edition was a 'ground-breaking' book in the development of supervision and supervisor training. This second edition retains the models for supervision in individual, group team and organisational settings, but also contains new material including:

  • An updated review of the literature, practice and training in the field.
  • A chapter on supervising across different cultures.
  • New models on supervising in groups.
  • Ways of introducing better supervision into organisations.

PETER HAWKINS is Chairman of Bath Consultancy Group through which he works with a wide variety of organisations throughout the world on managing complex change.

ROBIN SHOHET has been an individual and couple psychotherapist for over twenty years. He runs supervisor training courses through the Centre for Staff Team Development both in the UK and abroad.

Praise for the second edition of Supervision in the Helping Professions:

The whole spirit of the book is one that acknowledges and values human strengths and frailties. It is a spirit which also values rigour in aspiring to the best possible practice. It asks (and inspires) those of us in a position to do so, to play a part in promoting working cultures where learning and development are prized.

Hawkins and Shohet present a wealth of accessible and inspiring material. The multi-faceted endeavour that is supervision is laid out clearly without over-simplification. I would recommend this book to anyone involved directly in supervision or in developing supervision practices in their agency.

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry Vol.6, No.4

Peter Hawkins and Robin Shohet have written a book on supervision that is not just 'good enough' (Winnicott) it is a gem.

At its heart, this book contains readable, inspiring material on the process of individual supervision that will be readily appreciated by new and not so new supervisors.

With its comprehensive, engaging and thoughtful approach, this is now the main recommended text on my supervision courses. I highly commend the book.

Journal of Interprofessional Care Vol. 15, No.3 August 2001

The authors of this book really do know their subject well and have organised the presentation in a clear, systematic, readable style, refreshingly devoid of transatlantic jargon. It deals with all aspects of supervision and most importantly provides a meaningful blueprint about how useful and effective supervision can be. Let me recommend this book to you without reservation.

Journal of the British Psychodrama Association