Writing Cures: An Introductory Handbook of Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy

By Gillie Bolton; Stephanie Howlett et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 18

The uses of writing in the supervision of cognitive analytic therapy
Anthony Ryle
Introduction
The supervision of psychotherapists is a crucial aspect of training and some continuing access to it is considered valuable by most experienced practitioners and professional associations. There are three main aims in supervision:
1 Seeking to develop the therapist's understanding and application of the model of therapy.
2 Helping the therapist to become aware of, and make use of, their counter-transference reactions.
3 Noting recurrent problems, whether these stem from the therapist's difficulties, from particularly disturbed patients or from unsatisfactory aspects of the model.

This chapter will describe how these functions can be carried out either wholly or partly through written communications and how this allows teaching and supervision to be carried out by email. The retention of written communications between therapist and supervisor is also of value where research into the process or outcome of therapy is undertaken, contributing to the assessment of the therapist's adherence to, and skill in delivering, the model.


Face-to-face supervision and the use of audiotapes

The traditional style of supervision in psychodynamic therapy has been dependent upon the therapist bringing to individual or group supervision a detailed verbal report of a session. This should include a clear summary of the content, describing the episodes, stories and dreams brought by the patient, a detailed account of the mood, style and non-verbal communications of the patient and a description of the therapist's spoken and felt responses during the session. Where the supervisor is skilled and the relationship with the supervisee is such that idiosyncrasies, errors and omissions can be openly acknowledged, this mode of supervision can be a powerful learning experience and can ensure that good therapy is done. But this is

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