What Supervision Offers

What Supervision Offers

Right after I completed Core Skills, I signed up for EFT supervision and began the agonizing task of watching my own tapes. Six years later I still am paying for EFT supervision and watching my own tapes. There are some days when I praise myself for being dedicated, and others when I think I must be the slowest learner ever. It’s on my mind this morning, because I need to watch a video of my work for my own supervision later today, and I am putting it off to write this! I don’t think watching my work is much easier now than it was when I first started. It’s kind of like looking at yourself naked in the mirror; all your flaws or imagined flaws are exposed. I can understand why a clinician would be reluctant to do it.

What motivates me to video-tape my work and pay for supervision when it can be so cringe-inducing, and I am already certified? Maybe it’s for the same reason that couples come see us; they want their relationships to be better. To quote Anais Nin, “It’s easier to risk with the hope of bloom, than to remain the same in a tight bud.” From the moment I was introduced to EFT, I thought, “I want to do that!” And I believe the only way to do really good EFT is to make ourselves vulnerable, to risk exposure and ask for help from others. Just like our couples do when they seek our help. How can we ask our couples to do something we are not willing to risk?

My couples have taught me that as their relationships improve, so do their relationships with themselves, their children and others. This has been true for me as their therapist as well. I know I have been challenged and grown in my own life over and over again due to my EFT work. By asking myself questions like “What keeps me from taking a couple to deeper places? Why did I freeze there and not say anything, or start telling them a story just there?” I learn more about my own attachment. And in the process, this learning of EFT has pushed me to ever deepening places as a person, a spouse, a parent and as a therapist.

EFT has been described as providing a roadmap. What I have learned as a supervisee is that my supervisor often sees paths on the map that I cannot discern when I am in session, or even watching it afterwards. Some of my biggest gains with couples have been the result of suggestions from my supervisor. And hearing someone else’s perspective can completely change my experience of the couple and the work. Having someone more experienced in map-reading can help you navigate a new course when you are stuck. And of course, it feels wonderful when someone with more experience watches your work and tells you that you’ve done a great job! But you don’t get any of this if you don’t take the risk and participate in supervision.

So with that I recommend that you take a risk! Record your work, ask around for names, and reach out for a supervisor to guide you on the EFT journey. Or try supervision without video taping, and see how that feels. But either way, asking your couples to make themselves vulnerable makes more sense when you’re willing to take the same risk yourself.

Deb is a Certified supervisor-in-training, and has some limited availability for new supervisees.