“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
~ Pablo Picasso
Some of the best clinical supervisors I know are not just good problem solvers, but they are highly perceptive problem finders.
Why is this important? Because therapists who seek the help of supervisors are very eager to grow, and have many irons in the fire that they are trying to get better at. They come armed with a smorgasbord of questions about their ‘stuck’ cases, and have a gazillion number of psychotherapy methods/approaches/tools they are trying to master.
So it if an average supervisor encounters this, they are naturally eager to help and problem solve.
But what is really required is for supervisors to sharpen and redefine the problem, based on what’s going to have leverage on moving the needle for the therapist’s performance, without getting entwined with the pressure to perform, but becoming more liberated to engage in deep learning. (Listen to this podcast episode #5. When Performing Impedes Learning).
What we need are supervisors who engage in binocular vision:
- coaching for performance and
- coaching for development
Coaching for Performance.
It’s important to work through ‘stuck’ cases with supervisees, but it’s not enough. It’s a fire-fighting down-stream effort. And besides, as learners we are really poor at transferring first principles learning from one context to another, so supervisors need to guide them in generalising learnings based on clear patterns observed in their outcome data and clinical practice.
Coaching for Development.
We need to also keep another eye on helping supervisees move towards their individual growth edge, and help them carve out a current learning objective that has true leverage on improving their outcomes across the board. This is less fire-fighting, and more “igniting” of the personhood for the therapist to come his/her frontier. This is up-stream work.
We need both coaching for performance and coaching for development. Weaving this duality helps supervisors become better problem finders.
If you are a supervisor who want to become a better problem finder, the in-depth web-based workshop, Reigniting Clinical Supervision (RCS) helps you to do so.
Designed with the best of what we know in the learning sciences, we curated bite-sized practical tips, videos and in-depth resources in each modules, delivered to you every Mondays and Fridays for 6 months… and it’s a LIFE-TIME ACCESS (yep, not a subscription basis, so that you can learn at your own pace. No prizes for speed).
The 9th batch of RCS starts 3rd of Aug 2020. Join hundreds of supervisors and thoughts leaders from all over so that we can guide other therapists in their voyage to become better therapists.
p/s: Turns out that it’s not just clinical supervisors but practitioners in the therapy room also need to learn how to be better problem finders…