This is a tale about my Online Supervision
Supervision is one of the most powerful instruments needed to understand the relationship with clients. Thanks to the supervision sessions, we become able to see where we are going with a client, as well if our meetings are focused on that person and if our couple is experiencing a good relationship.
What about, an online supervision session with a foreign supervisee, who lives abroad and works face-to-face speaking a different language?
As an online supervisee, I worked with an online trainee supervisor, as I did me too in my last course. I also choose to work online with my supervisor because that practitioner is the best one I can have as a supervisor. It means that we worked online about a f2f work and those meetings were settled in the other Country where a different language is spoken.
This experience shipped me to these considerations:
we were from two different Countries. It did mean we should set up a good setting for our online supervision that involved:
– professional background;
– international laws, if they were, for example in Italy we don’t have laws for online work and even we don’t have Ethical Framework for that, I still suggest to think of this to my counselling Associations, so we shared the same ones I learned and agreed along with my online course;
– the way of working of both of us: at that time I just took my first degree in online counselling and I felt very well prepared for this environment, because we were in a group and we have the chance to share our experience and approaches and how the course was managed.
as part of the first point, there is the shared language. We do not think of its importance because usually, we share it. I do not mean only the language used between supervisor and supervisee, but I refer to the language spoken during the interviews with clients. What does it mean using a language during the meetings and then having to translate them, to report the encounter to another person who speaks a different language, living in a different Country/culture?
May the translation render to the supervisor the essence of meetings, shifted through a metaphorical space of a translation? Moreover, granted that, how much does it miss or how much does it earn? Not last, in this case, translation is an additional supplement from the supervisee. Therefore, language is a hypothetical location where the supervisee can play a new role: a role as a haulier. If we accept this point of view, the supervisee reports twice the client’s world: once during the session, the second one using a language like a client’s holder. The supervisee has not only one way to show a relationship between him/her and a client, but also he/she has a basic role of selecting words which should reflect the exact intention meant by the client and his/her significance.
According to me, it is a great responsibility.
Meanwhile, I was being supervised for the first time, I had a dream. That dream regarded me and my father who died 23 years ago. As I daily do, I write my night dreams on a journal, for 12 years, and I was writing my dream when suddenly I saw what the related scene was: I reported that in a slightly different way on my journal and immediately I delete that sentence, not perfectly correct. I re-writing what really I saw in the dream, even that second sentence was very heavy for me to accept on myself.
That episode made me very thoughtful about my supervision: as I have to carry on my writing with humility and honesty, I should do the same with my clients in the online supervision sessions, for respect them, firstly.
Online or face to face supervision is a tale. It does mean that a client is a narration from his/her self to a first person about how they lived their lives and the second one is told from the professional who listened to the client. There is one more tale: the one the practitioner tells to the supervisor. The narrations are spaces between the author and the tale: so, the client is able to say the personal tale and practitioner brings that tale and re-tell it to the supervisor. If both of them were too much fused to the tales, they are not able to say those to another person. So far is the distance, which makes us able to watch and to talk. If there is not the right distance, there cannot be a right space, which means there is not a right sight. It could happen for many reasons, as we know.
– from clients to themselves
– from clients to practitioners
– from practitioners to supervisors.
As we see, between the tales there are two spaces: these spaces are spaces for reflecting. The practitioner who listens to the client’s tale and re-tells it to them makes the first one, and the second one is about the client’s tale, reflected by the practitioner and re-told to a supervisor, who reflects the practitioner’s tale.
Like a mother who reflects on her baby’s feelings, giving their right name which defined feelings and that will be named/recognized by the babies as theirs. So, it happens the same in meetings and in supervision sessions. We say tales about the first one that was from the client. We should try to reflect their feelings because we are professionals, who should be conscious of his/herself’ way of working… reflecting those narrations to the clients and to the supervisees from that distance.
Likewise, after my dream, I have the space to re-write that with a greater correctness about what did really happened in that, the three tales in the two spaces of supervision make us able to check if our tale is the same the client did to us, or our best attempt to do that.
Under that reflection, my attempt was to tell my face-to-face clients’ tales to my online Supervisor using a new space, from an undefiled distance refilled by an uncertain ability to create an English meaning from an Italian background, as if, by that way, I gave a new chance to re-write my clients tales from an unexpected point of view, which gives a new sight to them as a consequence.
My Supervisor’s reflection to my narration, added by her own sensitive way of working, carried a tale that surprised me and reported in my daily practice with clients. As a result, my client had a new point of view towards their own tale, which I shared with them, by the aim to be respectful and to mirror their tales for giving their meaning and sense.
Shortly: by my online supervision I learned about respect, distance and space in supervision, and in my life as well.