Creative Supervision Across Modalities: Theory and Applications for Therapists, Counsellors and Other Helping Professions, edited by Anna Chesner and Lia Zografou, 2014, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 224 pages, ISBN: 978-1-84905-316-7.
This book beautifully covers the different creative approaches to supervision based on the types of activities and theory used in creative therapy. The first several chapters begin with background information about what the authors mean by creative supervision, covering the philosophical and theoretical roots. Next is a discussion of several different frameworks that can be used to structure supervision. Role theory and the “seven-eyed supervisor” provide the format that is later used to explain the different aspects of the supervisor’s work and the supervisory process. This leads into seven chapters of examples of creative supervision written by students who have attended the Creative Approaches to Supervision training the authors conduct in London, which is the basis for the book. Several of the modalities included in these examples are psychodrama, art psychotherapy, and movement therapy, as well as working with supervisees in a variety of settings. The examples use both the theory of the modality and the theories guiding supervision to explain each case.
The book is well written, although it would be difficult reading for someone who has not been exposed to any of the background theory. It was theoretically dense in some places, making some of the chapters hard to follow. The variety of modalities was interesting and engaging, providing wonderful snapshots of how these different techniques work for the practitioner, the client, and the supervisor. Without the theoretical framework of the therapy to fall back on, it was sometimes challenging to understand what was being done in the situation and why.
Not for the newly graduated social worker or social work students, this book provides someone who has experience providing supervision guidance through a variety of approaches that help supervisees work with clients and understand their own components of the work they are doing. With education in any one of the modalities presented, this book encourages supervisors to expand their tool bag of techniques, so that different aspects of the whole person are addressed and considered in the supervisory relationship.
Reviewed by Mo Cuevas, Ph.D., LCSW, Director, Worden School of Social Service, Our Lady of the Lake University.