Skills of Clinical Supervision for Nurses: A Practical Guide for Supervisees, Clinical Supervisors, and Managers

By Meg Bond; Stevie Holland | Go to book overview

3
The clinical supervision
relationship: a working
alliance

Nothing has more influence on the effectiveness of clinical supervision than the quality of the clinical supervision relationship. We acknowledge that many of the factors that make such a helping relationship work are indefinable and are affected by personal and professional histories, perceptions and reactions to each other. However, this chapter attempts to offer you some guidance in clarifying and exploring the skills you can use to create some of the conditions in which the quality of the relationship can develop, and in which hidden unconscious issues which might sabotage its success can be safely acknowledged and contained. We look at some of the elements which most concern nurses: the rights and responsibilities of the supervisee and the clinical supervisor, negotiating the clinical supervision contract and giving each other feedback. Most of the principles and frameworks in this chapter apply to one-to-one clinical supervision but we ask you to consider that the working alliance can also be between the supervisee and the members of her clinic supervision group: the group becomes the clinical supervisor and the supervisee’s relationship is with the group as a whole.

At the end of the chapter we attempt to draw these strands together to ask how the clinical supervision relationship can develop into an effective working alliance. We will link back to themes explored in Chapter 2 and forward to further chapters in the book.


The quality of the clinical supervision relationship
in practice

We have found that participants attending courses have reported a wide range of quality of experiences of clinical supervision as supervisees. The worst examples refer to relationships in which power is abused and the midrange indicate some lack of understanding or skill in using clinical supervision. The most positive examples indicate commitment based on positive

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