The Psychotherapy Supervision Lab
Saturday 12 October 2019 - London
With Prof Mary Hepworth (previously Mary Target), Prof Jeremy Holmes and Ann Shearer
This day will provide a unique opportunity to discover the extent to which different psychotherapists diverge in their theory and technique when we compare them through the lens of live supervision. Our three presenters have been chosen both for their extensive experience as therapists and supervisors. By working before the audience with a case presenter acting as supervisee, we will gain a glimpse into the normally hidden world of supervision. Each session will begin with an outline of our presenters’ understanding of the supervisory role, followed by a brief introduction by their guest supervisee to their case. This will be followed a 50 minute unrehearsed live supervision. Together, each supervisory couple will explore what breakthroughs in the treatment might emerge.
Registration and coffee
Professor Mary Hepworth (previously Mary Target)
Supervision: tuning into the therapist’s implicit theories and model of change and whether these connect effectively in work with the patient
Having been trained by analysts of different traditions (supervisions with Kleinians, Independents and a Freudian), and having originally trained as a clinical psychologist in CBT and systemic therapies, while developing theory about attachment and mentalization, I would describe my supervision style as broad-based! Influenced perhaps by one or two senior, dogmatic ‘do-as-I-say’ colleagues I can say that this is not an approach I try to take. I think my priority is listening to how the supervisee is unconsciously relating to the patient, alongside trying to pick up their conscious partial theories (Sandler). I hope to understand what the analyst and patient are unconsciously trying to do with/to the other. I do not see it as my role to analyse the supervisee’s approach but to try to understand what they are responding to in the patient’s way of relating. Perhaps again following Sandler, I see value in the idea of counter transference role responsiveness. My focus is on elucidating the technique being used and trying to see where that fits and accommodates to this patient, with the aim of giving the supervisee clarity and confidence, without which effectiveness is hard to achieve.
Supervision: a Jungian approach
Supervision elicits its own strong energies, more complex than those of therapy, particularly when the supervisee is in training. Few people who consult psychotherapists are in search of a new identity: most come in the hope of fixing the one they already have. But supervision is different: most people come to supervision in active search of a new identity, professional at least and maybe more than that. In this introduction, we will be exploring how supervision must constantly negotiate with the uncomfortable power of three. We will also look at some underlying archetypal patterns that may be fuelling the work.
Professor Jeremy Holmes
The Supervision Spectrum: From ‘Minute Particulars to ‘Dreaming The Patient’
For me the essence of supervision, like therapy itself, is a safe, bounded, non-judgemental, enquiring, creativity-generating space, able to contain, struggle with and transmute therapists’ consulting room experiences. Supervision is ‘thinking about thinking’ (and feeling). I see supervisory techniques ranging on a spectrum from holographic focus on specific events and utterances which express the patient’s psychodynamics in microcosm, to free-floating, free-associative, co-created day-dreaming of supervisor and supervisee(s). Another important component is ‘parallel process’ in which supervisor and supervisee unwittingly enact aspect of the patient’s dynamics, and, if things go well, recursively reflect on that process. I hope to be able to illustrate some of these themes in vivo via ‘live supervision’.
Plenary Session and Discussion