Existential Supervision for Therapists – What does it entail?
Existential supervision is a process of assisting psychologists, psychotherapists and counselors to work more effectively with their clients. This is the aim of all forms of professional counseling supervision but existential supervision is different. Focus is specifically on ‘how the therapist is’ with their client, since the premise on which an existential way of working is based is on the co-construction of the relationship between practitioner and client. Thus ‘the client that comes to see a therapist is a different one that comes to see another therapist’. This is an important distinction. The client is different and their story will be different because it is seen through the eyes of a different therapist. Also, the unique interaction between them will bring forth a different content and delivery specific to that relationship.
Thus, existential supervision focuses on how a practitioner is with their clients – how they make themselves available as a vehicle for clients to experience themselves and take responsibility for their lives. Existential supervision also challenges the therapist to see their own blind spots of where they are colluding with social and cultural myths that negate them taking responsibility for their life choices – and choice of assisting their clients.