Shelley's Supervision Style

Dialectical Agreement: We agree to accept a dialectical philosophy: There is no absolute truth.  When caught between two conflicting opinions, we agree to look for the truth in both positions and to search for a synthesis by asking such questions as, “What is being left out?”

We agree that the primary goal of our working together in a supervision relationship is to improve our own skills as therapists, and not serve as a go-between for clients to each other.  We agree to not treat clients or each other as fragile.  We agree to treat each other with the belief that others can speak on their own behalf.  

Because change is a natural life occurrence, we agree to accept diversity and change as they naturally come about.  This means that we do not have to agree with each others’ positions about how to respond to specific clients not do we have to tailor our own behavior to be consistent with everyone else’s.  

We agree to observe our own limits.  As therapists we agree to not judge or criticize each other for having different limits from our own (e.g. too broad, too narrow, and “just right”)

All things being equal, we agree to search for non-critical and empathic interpretations of our clients’, our own, and others’ behavior.  We agree to assume we and our clients are trying our best, and want to improve.  We agree to strive to see the work through our clients’ eyes and through one another’s eyes.  We agree to practice a non-judgmental stance with our clients and with one another.

We agree ahead of time that we are each fallible and make mistakes.  We agree that we have probably with done whatever problematic things we’re being accused of, or some part of it, sot that we can let go of assuming a defensive stance to prove our virtue or competence.  Because we are fallible, it is agreed that we will inevitably violate all of these agreements, and when this is done we rely on each other to point out the polarity and move to a synthesis.  

Stretch limits (mine and yours)