Becoming a counsellor is a never-ending journey towards knowledge, connection, wellbeing and helping. While there are bumps in one’s professional growth journey, there are also moments of success that leave a lasting impression that this career is a perfect fit. For me, these moments happened during supervision.
Submitting to the Process
In the beginning stages of development, it was easy to slip into the dampening mindset of supervision as a “put your best foot forward.” I brought my supervisor shinning moments of success from my client sessions during the week. I missed the real meaning and value of clinical supervision. My supervisor was kind and caring enough to realize that I had reservations of sharing the mistakes and blunders. It became abundantly clear through her guidance that I needed to shed the layer of worry around judgment and submit to the process of supervision. Thankfully, this was a short-lived period of my supervisory experience.
Supervision Growing Pains
Once I realized the power behind authenticity in the supervision process, I became excited to open the door to examining these struggles with my supervisor. It became a weekly treasure hunt of searching for areas I could grow and sharpen my skill set. Sometimes it was learning how to sit in silence. Sometimes it meant practicing an intervention or diving into a theory. There were also times where it meant examining my own countertransference. These growing pains required hard work and effort, but I was determined to be an effective counsellor for my clients.
Wisdom of Supervision
There is a beautiful parallel between the counselling relationship and the supervisory relationship. I was focused on helping my client grow, while my supervisory was focused on helping me grow. These two relationships were flourishing side-by-side. As a beginning counsellor, it is easy to let the client consume the focus. But my supervisor helped me realize that I needed to acknowledge my growth and accomplishments of accepting feedback, eagerness to improve and a willingness to share my mistakes. These steps are not easy!
My success as a professional counsellor has been the product of amazing and talented supervisors through my career. Their time invested into my growth contributed to the success of my clients. The supervisory relationship has been a life-changing experience and I’m thankful for that the professional field honours this process. It is now the gift that I pay forward with my own supervisees.