Supervision

Meaning

Reflection of Your Work with People

In Supervisions (from the Latin super-videre = to watch closely, to look at/upon), the exercise of professional activity performance is reflected upon in the narrower sense: A Psychotherapist, a Psychoanalyst, a Psychologist, a Physician, a Teacher, a Social Worker, etc., discusses one of their clients or patients, «cases», with me. With the help of the psychoanalytic method and my decades of professional experience, I support the specialist in understanding his/her “case”, and help him to find suitable procedures and interventions.

Psychoanalytic Supervision focuses on the recognition of unconscious attitudes and behaviorial patterns of the discussed «case». Furthermore, it helps the Supervisee to realize and overcome his own «blind spots» (stemming from his/her own personal history and idiosyncratic flaws). The aim is for the Supervisee to improve in his own professional practice and performance, and to be able to better serve his clients or patients.

Supervision also contains didactic elements. I impart psychological and psychoanalytical knowledge to the Supervisees, encourage them to read and study relevant professional literature, and also to reflect more deeply on the subject matter of their professional activity between sessions of supervision.

How does Supervision work?

Supervision is obligatory as part of the training to become a Psychoanalyst or Psychotherapist, and young professional colleagues learn their craft in this way.

I am an accredited Supervisor and Training Analyst of the Swiss Society for Psychoanalysis, the Freud Institute Zurich, the Psychoanalytic Seminar Zurich, the Innsbruck Psychoanalytic Seminar and several training institutes all over Europe.

Supervision is also used by all other kinds of Psychotherapists, Psychoanalysts and other specialists for their life-long learning. Like any good athlete or artist, they strive to get better every day and hire a supervisor to train them and bring their professional performance to a higher level.

Types of Supervision

Supervision Takes Place in Groups
or Individually

Case Supervision

Case Supervision can take place individually or in small groups of four to eight persons. A colleague presents a case, and under the guidance of the supervisor the group (or in individual supervision: the colleague) an understanding of the case and ways of proceeding are worked out. Solutions, procedures, interventions are developed, proposed, critically looked at and finally chosen.

The Supervisions take place in my practice or – when held in institutions – in the premises of the Supervisees. In the latter case, I charge a flat rate for travel expenses and half the Supervision fee for travel time.

Team Supervision

In Team Supervision, the focus is on the relationships and communication within the team. Sometimes open or subliminal conflicts hinder the team in the optimal fulfillment of its task.

Team Supervision aims to uncover underlying tensions, discuss conflicts and resolve blockages, so that the team can once again function satisfactorily and harmoniously for all involved.
Application

Duration and Effect

Supervisions most often take place on a weekly or bi-weekly basis (Case Supervisions), or at somewhat longer intervals (Team Supervisions).

It is a fact that teams function better when they regularly make use of Supervision, even when there is no acute crisis situation. Emerging tensions and conflicts are thus recognized and constructively discussed before they build up to paralyzing blockades, destructive intrigues, a poisoned work atmosphere and high staff turnover. As Supervisor, I am strictly neutral and create a warm, empathetic and open conversation atmosphere. My ultimate goal is to foster communication and cooperation within the team, making it fit for the fulfillment of its professional task.

Individual Supervisions normally last 45 minutes (or 90 minutes if a double session is arranged), Team Supervisions extend over 90 to 120 minutes.

The working principle of Psychoanalytic Supervision is the same as in every Psychoanalytical work: Recognizing unconscious connections and enduring and understanding unpleasant repressed feelings and conflicts releases the energy necessary to find new solutions and better coping. The role of the Supervisor, as in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, is that of a benevolent, supporting, and sometimes stern trainer striving to move his protégé or team forward. The working relationship is based on mutual trust and cooperation.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - Supervision

When does Supervision make sense?

Supervision is useful for all specialists in “people professions” who want to learn how to relate to their clients/patients, understand them better and work with them more successfully.

How does Supervision work?

Supervision uses the psychoanalytical knowledge and method to support and guide the Supervisee in how to better understand the unconscious dynamics of the relationship with his clients, to recognize and overcome the clients’ and his own blind spots. For this purpose, the Supervisee describes conversations and relational situations with his clients as part of the Supervision session.

The Supervisor points out facts and feelings that the Supervisee has not perceived or not taken into account, thus helping him to break free from communication barriers and dead ends. I also show the Supervisee alternatives on how to deal with clients. The goal is always to enhance to professional capacities of the Supervisee, the focus is not or only partly on the Supervisee’s own personal problems.

What are the goals of Supervision?

I consider myself to be an engaged and warm cooperation partner, an experienced colleague, helping the Supervisee to realize his professional potential, making him stronger in his capabilities and interventions. My role is that of a teacher in guiding his disciples to think more freely and creatively, to act strategically and tactically, and to intervene courageously.

What is the difference between Supervision and Psychotherapy?

In Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, the focus is on the personal problems and conflicts of the clients/patients. In Supervision, the focus is on client- or patient-related requests of the Supervisee. Sometimes, personal questions or problems of the Supervisee also emerge in Supervision. Of course, these can be discussed as well, and, where obstructive, worked on and overcome.