22 June 2024

Clinical supervision is a formal process of professional support, reflection and learning that contributes to individual development.

It consists of the practitioner meeting regularly with another professional, not necessarily more senior, but normally with training in the skills of supervision, to discuss casework and other professional issues in a structured way.

The purpose is to assist the practitioner to learn from his or her experience and progress in expertise, as well as to ensure good service to the client.

Learning shall be applied to planning work as well as to diagnostic work and therapeutic work.

How does Clinical Supervision help you, your clients and your business?

Clinical supervision is for the benefit of the client, the staff and the organisation.

It can help ensure that clients who use services receive high quality care from staff who are able to manage the personal and emotional impact of their practice.

It can help staff to manage the personal and professional demands created by the nature of their work. This is particularly important for those who work with people who have complex and challenging issues.

The organisation also benefits from providing clinical supervision for its staff. Essentially it improves client care; it encourages the exploration of good practice and is a place for shared learning.

It encourages motivation, innovation and job satisfaction, which in turn has an impact on staff turnover.

When Clinical supervision is valued within the context of the culture of the organisation, it sets the tone for values and behaviours expected of individuals. It sits alongside good practices in recruitment, induction and training to ensure that staff have the right skills, attitudes and support to provide high quality services.

Clinical supervision has been linked to good governance, by helping to support quality improvement, managing risks, and by increasing accountability.

‘I believe that all organisations which employ individuals to work with vulnerable clients would be prudent to consider clinical supervision. It is an invaluable way to support staff from the potential impacts of working with clients who present complex life stories or needs. Staff can often suffer with vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout and stress. Clinical supervision is another way to limit the potential for these effects from occurring.’ 

Amanda Clark – Full Circle Counselling

Tracey Blick of Faithworks Christchurch Foodbank says of her experience of Clinical Supervision from YMCA’s Full Circle Counselling.

‘What a life saver and releasing benefit the clinical supervision is. Amanda is really nice, calming and so good at our sessions.  It is really freeing both emotionally and some burdensome heavy to be able to discuss the struggles and impact some of those visiting the foodbank share with us.  The sessions are both healthy and releasing…. Often through tears, but also teach us a lot about our own strongholds by chatting through our reactions to and for those we work with.  These sessions have brought Sarah and I closer together as a team.

  • YMCA Bournemouth have been providing clinical supervision for its counsellors since 2015.
  • In 2021 they rolled out clinical supervision to other members of their staff group who work with vulnerable clients and have found it has been very successful in supporting individuals and teams to process work placed stress.
  • In 2023 they piloted this provision to another local charity. The staff team valued the service and have now recommissioned them to provide clinical supervision to them throughout 2024.

YMCA’s Full Circle Counselling offers Clinical Supervision to

  • all charities and businesses that have employees that work in stressful conditions or with vulnerable clients
  • counsellors, who require clinical supervision, for their counselling practice

For more information, or for a chat about whether YMCA’s Clinical Supervision service would be suitable for you or your team – please contact Amanda Clark.