clive oxford psychotherapy, counselling and supervision in hereford and herefordshire
|19th February 2020|
I have been supervising Counsellors and Therapists since 2001, having learnt my supervisory perspectives as an 'apprentice' to gifted, diverse and sometimes maverick supervisors and therapists.
It’s uncomfortable to think critically, acutely, accurately, broadly, to travel with someone out into the extremities of our being, into the darkness, into the pits of shame, war, rage, violence, into the myriad realms of the mind. But is this not the true realm of therapy; is this not what we are dealing with here? If happiness arises it has to emerge from all this; hardly a romantic, comforting or ‘positive’ thought, though true none the less. The burgeoning institutional obsession with regulation, accreditation, evidencing, proving, and tick-boxing of the therapist and its persistence in using such black and white terms as ‘positive’ (we must be!) only leads us to a destiny of failure, for when the ‘negative’ arises, as it will, we are defeated; believing ourselves to be thereby, wrong. We have to deal with defeat in our lives; the therapist has to be able to be with that sense of the unanswerable, the insoluble, the baffling and mystifying awesomeness of being here. Life has no answer, only questions. And…. as Beckett says, ‘there is no cure for that’.
In these times of uniformity and conformity of 'learning', I offer supervisees an opportunity to broaden and deepen their practice and perpectives; helping them develop an ownership of their unique ways of being as therapist, and the ability to be really curious about their clients.
NB At present I am not running groups
Some reasons I offer further practitioner development
My experience running Personal Development groups for trainee counsellors and therapists finds me questioning the depth and rigour of many current training courses. I believe this is not so much due to the tutorship or personal agendas, persuasions and skills of tutors, but rather the burgeoning requirement on training courses to prove ('evidence') that all bases have been covered; politically and correctly learned and assimilated, therefore nullifying any possibility of the training being flawed or inadequate - all boxes ticked!
This obsession with training courses evidencing they have ticked all the boxes, covered all bases, means tutors are constantly preoccupied with 'looking over their shoulders' lest they omit or contravene an edict from their respective governing body or authority. This evokes a level of hyper-vigilance severely limiting the potential to explore, experiment, experience and learn; now the 'evidence' becomes the overarching priority. We thus, in giving diplomas for the ability to evidence all the 'right' boxes are ticked, might say that we give 'diplomatic immunity' to our graduates. Would we want to set this precedent for our clients? Indeed, would we like a CCTV camera in the corner of our consulting room? What part(s) of ourselves must we leave outside the consulting room lest it is spotted by 'big brother'?
previous participants said:
"I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the professional development group. It was interesting having a space that defied labels such as: "supervision", "mentoring", "therapy" a curious space in which we could bring ourselves fully and be rather than perform, do, or search. It was a space in which we could share stories of triumphs and failure, lick our wounds and laugh.”
“We sometimes leafed through the rulebook questioning everything playfully. At times the group seemed to perform for me the role of a midwife, facilitating the birth of my identity as a newly qualified practitioner.”
“Clive is interested and curious about how we practice and who we are as individuals and therapists. As a group leader he can be funny, caring, profound, silly, irreverent and very generous in sharing his experience. He creates a safe, permission-giving space, is ready to help, advise, or just listen." SB
“Clive groups are always supportive, safe engaging and challenging places. He’s an incisive and insightful practitioner who is comfortable dealing with difficult subjects and remaining fully present in any discussion. I always leave with things to think about and feeling energised. There is also a lot of laughing! I would, and indeed have, recommend him.” LC
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