Is There Anybody Out There?: The Role of Technology in Supporting Counsellors and Play Therapists

Is There Anybody Out There?: The Role of Technology in Supporting Counsellors and Play Therapists

Maggie Robson (Keele University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-204-4.ch012
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This explores the possibilities of using technology to support counselling supervision in Africa, with a focus on Kenya, where the cost, both in time as well as financially, can mean that it is not accessed as regularly as it perhaps should be. The purpose and nature of counselling supervision is examined, and the challenges that therapists face in accessing it are reported. Through an evaluation of the literature relating to the effectiveness of technology in supporting counselling supervision, drawing on the authors own experience of telephone supervision and the views of practising counsellors and play therapists, recommendations are made regarding its use.
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Background: Supervision, Benefits, And Challenges

What is Supervision and Why do Counsellors and Play Therapists need It?

Supervision is obligatory for Counsellors and Play Therapists in the UK (Feltham, 2002; BACP, 2010a). It is an opportunity to meet regularly with another experienced practitioner to discuss client work. Its purpose is to safeguard the client (Henderson, 2002, p. 26) and to maintain and develop fitness to practice (Lambers, 2003). Supervision has monitoring, evaluative, educational, and quality control functions (Hawkins & Shohet, 2000; West & Clarke, 2004), and Leeke (2008) suggests that supervisors need to be able to be poets, policemen, and plumbers. In other words, she argues that practitioners need the poet to understand the sometimes complex and overwhelming feelings engendered by our therapeutic work and to respond to the hurt inner child that our work may connect us to. We also need our supervisor to be a ‘policeman’—to have knowledge of the law, agency policy, and the principles of ethical decision-making. In addition, the plumber in the supervisor needs to support the supervisee in the ‘how’ by offering their own experience and increasing the confidence of the therapist to try out their own ideas. The supervisory relationship needs to be an adult-to-adult one and what Page and Wosket (1994) call “a reflective alliance.”

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