Clinical supervision was founded in psychoanalytic thinking and practice and continues to influence our work to this day.
From the beginning of his working life, Freud was discussing his ideas and practices with others and they with him, although the terms “clinical consultation” and “clinical supervision” had not yet been adopted. As far back as 1902, he was involved as teacher, mentor and observer in the work of young practitioners training to become psychoanalysts. This early type of supervision was didactic in form and the work centred on the patients’ dynamic processes.
In the 1920s, supervision was made a formal requirement for psychoanalytic trainees along with mandatory standards for both coursework and observational treatment of patients established by the International Psychoanalytic Society (IPS).
No matter which discipline or what form of clinical supervision one practices, psychoanalytic concepts have brought much richness to clinical supervision in all its phases. Freud’s psychodynamic ideas of parallel process and creating a working alliance are foundational across models of clinical supervision, having informed the work of supervisors of all orientations.
From a psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic perspective, clinical supervision is viewed as both a teaching and learning process that gives particular emphasis to the relationships between and among the patient, therapist and the supervisor and the processes that interplay among them.
All members of the QPPA are required to undertake regular supervision of their work on an ongoing basis to ensure quality and fidelity of practice.