The Supervisor Training and Approval Program (STAP) Framework
Although supervision is often thought of as a place in which a supervisee consults about difficult cases, supervision is in fact much more than that. According to STAP, there are 7 relevant aspects of the supervisory relationship that operate during each supervision session. I try to address each aspect in most supervision sessions with the people I supervise.
- The Client: what's happening for the client?
- Intervention Strategies: what is happening in the therapy?
These first two aspects are most commonly addressed during case consultations in most supervision sessions, and it would be unusual to leave them out of a supervision session.
- Relationship 1: how is the therapeutic alliance between the client and the supervisee?
This aspect of supervision addresses transference: is the client applying expectations or behaviours to the supervisee that are more about the client's past relationships than the current therapeutic relationship? If so, how can this process be changed through the therapy?
- Supervisee Reactions: how is the supervisee responding to the process of doing therapy with this client?
This aspect of supervision covers countertransference: is the supervisee applying expectations or behaviours to the client from their own past relationships, that may not be about the current therapeutic relationship? How can this be managed to best assist the client and the supervisee?
- Relationship 2: how is the supervisory alliance between the supervisor and the supervisee? Does it need attention?
Is there a good enough fit between the supervisor and the supervisee? Has the balance between a supportive and a challenging environment been achieved? Does it need adjustment?
- Supervisor Reactions: how is the supervisor responding to the process of supervising the supervisee?
Self-awareness is a crucial part of the profession of psychology. As a therapist and a supervisor, I need to be checking in with myself to make sure that I am comfortable in my role as a supervisor, and if not, why not? Does the arrangement need adjustment? Do I as a supervisor need some supervision for my supervision?
- Systems Around Supervision: what effect are the context of the clinical work, the context of the supervision, the organisation and the institutions involved having on the client, the supervisee and the supervisor?
Are there contextual or systemic issues that need to be looked at in order to assist the supervisee?