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In the English language, in particular, the most frequent connotation of the word supervision is probably that of a boss or chief, i.e. someone higher in rank who an employee reports to. The word supervision is a compound of two Latin words: the preposition super, which means ‘over’ or ‘above’ betekent, and vision, meaning ‘glance’ or ‘sight’. In other words, the compound literally means ‘over – ‘seeing’. What supervision is about here and at the Ki-Anne practice has nothing to do with the relation employer-employee.
The type of supervision that is at stake here is a specific sort of coaching or counselling. In it the coach/counsellor, being the supervisor supports his clients, being the supervisees, to better and more efficiently reflect on, and ultimately react to, cases and situations arising from their professional environment by co-looking over their shoulders.
As a coaching method supervision thus intends to enhance the employee's professional quality. In practice attending a series of supervision sessions is often offered, although not exclusively, by employers to new employees. Whatever the occasion, supervision is expected to contribute to an employee's further professional development. Supervision aims at teaching the employee to gain more insight in the way he acts as a professional, so he will be better able to face specific issues and conditions. It goes without saying that both employer and employee share an interest in, and may benefit from, supervision. After all, by becoming stronger and better suited to handling difficult conditions and situations the employee will be more efficient while the chances of illnesses, stress, burn-out and so on are reduced.
The need for the type of coaching described above arose half-way the twentyeth centurty in health care. Here a desire developed for better c ommunication between doctor/therapist and patient. Over time the range of areas where a growing need for supervision was felt has increased signifcantly. Nowadays, in almost every profession where there is frequent communication with people supervision may be a helpful instrument. That is why supervision is now a regular phenomenon in many national and municipal institutions, environments and areas such as education, the police, social care.
Clearly, supervision shares a number of characteristics with other types of counselling such as intervision and coaching. In the case of intervision there are usually small groups of colleagues who discuss amongst themsleves cases and situations arising from their professional work. In the case of supervision there is always this special relation between the supervisor and the supervisee. It is the former who, during supervision sessions, is in the lead. The supervisor is both the leader of the sessions and the coach of the client. Note that in supervision sessions there can be only one supervisee, in which case we are dealing with individual supervision. However, sometimes it is desirable to organise supervision sessions so that the supervisor and small groups of supervisees work together. In a standard coaching environment there are usually one or more concrete requests for support which need to be addressed. In such cases the coach attempts to help the client to find solutions for his issues. Supervision is not the same as psychotherapy. Within supervision the primary focus is always on how the client can better/best fulfil his professional duties rather than on personal or private issues.
The supervision sessions take place in the form of conversations in a small office of room. The supervisee is requested to bring to the table the specific situations and issues that he wants to learn to reflect on professionally. In the case of group sessions the supervisor and two or more supervisors take part in the sessions. When the client attends the sessions at the request of his employer these sessions usually take place at a location assigned by the employer. In most other cases the supervision sessions are held at my home (see the map at the bottom of this page).
I am a fully qualified and officially registered supervisor in the Netherlands. The standard duration of a session is 60 minutes. The session tariff for individual clients is € 75,00 excl. VAT per 60 minutes . For groups please contact me.
The costs of supervision are not usually covered by health or other insurance companies. That said, it is quite normal for employees to be able to claim their costs with their employer. If you are interested in supervision you are advised to contact your employer's HR department.