Real World Clinical Blog: On Social Work Supervision

Let’s talk about what makes supervision good and what makes supervision bad.

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Graduate Student: Learning Supervison

I truly enjoyed the perspectives offered in this article on supervision. A current graduate student myself, I am in the role of a supervisee and have found that I am at times terrified of being incompetent. My field instructor this past year has made me feel comfortable to make non-life threatening mistakes which will allow me to grow. I see social work as being such an impactful field that I am always nervous of giving incorrect “advice” or feedback to my clients. It becomes even more scary when those clients are young children; children are so impressionable.

As I read, I especially resonated with the question “which clients are you brushing your teeth with?” One child immediately came to mind. During my field interactions with her, I saw her as both a bully and manipulator. As I sat down for supervision, I realized that this child displayed attitudes that I loathe as a young girl and even now as an adult. Bullies were never tolerated by me and I always defend those students or adults whom I felt were being bullied. We all have biases and dislikes that as clinicians may carry over into our work and attitudes with clients. It is a great idea to do continual self evaluation with self, supervisors, and peers.

Another aspect that came to mind with that question is developing a personable relationship with clients, with established boundaries, that allows me to know and empathize with them as a person. As a Soldier in the United States Army, I always got to know those placed under my charge on a personal level and found that this heightened the performance in my sections. People felt cared about and knew that I was invested in the United States Army’s mission, them as a person, and their families. These were the areas that comprised their everyday lives, thus it must be counted as important to me. This is true with clients.

Mavlyn Bazil 107 days ago

A Fine Balance

Providing a well rounded supervisory experience is an art- weighing the clinical and personal needs of each intern can be a challenge and an hour can fly by. I have found creating an agenda with my interns at the beginning of each session, as I always want to ensure a rich experience. Any high risk clients, as well as a case consult layout and homework between sessions helps myself and my ASWs get a solid skill base that they can depend on throughout their careers when they finally become LCSWS! https://therapyinsd.com

karen kerschmann more than 2 years ago

humanity

One of the things I share with my students is to remember the common humanity ...the clients ...the students ...and mine. We are not experts or fonts of all knowledge ...and we will mess up. It's ok to mess up ...the skill lies in recovering the mess.

Margaret more than 4 years ago

About Real World CSW

Dr. Danna Bodenheimer is the author of Real World Clinical Social Work: Find Your Voice and Find Your Way and On Clinical Social Work: Meditations and Truths From the Field. She shares practice wisdom with new clinicians.

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