Welcome Find a Mentor-Supervisor Supervision Training Articles

MENTORING/SUPERVISION for ACUPUNCTURISTS

To find a supervisor mentor near you, here is a list of trained, qualified supervisors who all receive regular supervision themselves, who may be able to help you.


“As practitioners we offer our patients guidance, support and encouragement - it seems a good idea to offer it to ourselves” Isobel Cosgrove

Introduction.


The practice of Chinese medicine makes many demands on us and we face a variety of challenges as practitioners. When practising, we discover there are often particular situations to contend with when working with people of any age, who may be troubled or having problems. Some of us work with clients with complex issues, or with very ill clients, with the bereaved or the dying. Frequently in our professional role we form important, and sometimes long lasting, relationships with our clients.

As we become busier and more experienced this can lead to us taking on too much work, and this may lead to burnout or compassion fatigue. There may be the everyday pressures of building a practice, along with managing the business, with all the issues to do with time management and money. At the same time, there are often other issues, such as those around roles and boundaries, ethics, and – on a more personal front – lack of confidence. Then there are some of us who are moving into practice from the supportive environment of our college course who then may encounter varied unforeseen issues, which may not be covered in depth in our training.

Our work setting can influence us in many ways. Some practitioners work alone in the quiet and solitude of their own homes, where it is all too easy to become isolated. However some practitioners work in settings such as multidisciplinary clinics, multibeds, GP centres, hospitals and other group environments. Here they often face challenges of a different type as they manage relationships with colleagues, other therapists and health professionals. Whichever setting we work in, we often work without the non-judgemental support we need.

In many of the caring professions, supervision and mentoring has been established as a valuable and effective tool for support, resulting in significant personal and professional development.

So what is supervision-mentoring?


To put it simply, supervision and mentoring can provide you with a supportive place to reflect and explore practice and associated work issues. It is a safe, non-judgemental  environment  in which to work through any difficult issues and to move forward. However, supervision and mentoring is more than a process that looks at ‘difficult’ issues. It provides an opportunity for you to explore and resolve any issues that may be affecting your satisfaction in your working life. It allows you to start to create what you want by giving yourself the support and guidance you routinely offer to others. Many people who enter supervision feel immediately relieved, supported and excited as they reconnect with their ‘alive-ness’ and enthusiasm. It allows you to know that you are not alone, and that you can ‘say the unsayable’. In the process, you realise you are constantly learning and adding to your own resources. This then can have a wider impact on your professional work and personal fulfillment.

Supervision is more effective than personal reflective practice, because we all have our ‘blind spots’. In reflective practice when we look at the ‘mirror of ourselves’ we tend to miss things. With supervision we are supported to discover these missing areas for ourselves.

All practitioners, be they acupuncturists, coaches, homeopaths, doctors, midwives, osteopaths (and others), can benefit greatly by having somewhere to take their professional needs. As we are members of the British Acupuncture Council and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine we have a responsibility to the public, to the colleagues in our profession and to ourselves, to get the support we need and to maintain as high a standard of work as possible.

How does it happen?

Supervision and mentoring is available either individually with a supervisor or in small groups of peers again facilitated by a supervisor. Groups usually meet monthly, whilst individual sessions are arranged according to need and availability. The individual sessions usually take place either face-to-face but with modern technology they can be by telephone or ‘Skype’ (or equivalent).