What is clinical case supervision for psychologists?

The world of psychology and mental health in general is based on knowledge of all kinds, both theoretical and practical, and is part of what makes this area of ​​work so fascinating.

However, it also implies that, from a professional point of view, doubts and obstacles can always arise in the face of which it is difficult to know what to do. Especially in the field of psychotherapy, it is common to encounter new situations or unexpected problems.

This is precisely why there is supervision of psychologists, A very common service among professionals or teams of very experienced psychologists who combine their usual tasks with help sessions for other colleagues. Here we will see what they consist of.

  • Related article: “The 12 Branches (or Fields) of Psychology”

What is the supervision of clinical cases in psychology?

Supervision of clinical cases, as the name suggests, are processes in which a professional psychological intervention in patients advises another to help them channel a specific case for which they are in charge of their consultation.

These monitoring sessions they can be performed punctually (in a single session) or with a certain periodicity to follow a case over the days. On the other hand, it is often possible to do this not only face to face, but also online.

This is not an improvised service, but many psychologists have already developed a specific way of offering this service to their colleagues, so they have the experience and preparation to help those in need.

Do only beginner psychologists need it?

The answer to this question is no: any professional, no matter how experienced, may sometimes need the supervision of other psychologists. to know how to handle a specific case. After all, psychotherapy is such a complex process that no one can fully control what goes on in it (for better or for worse), which means there is always room to learn.

In addition, sometimes the problem is not the lack of theoretical and practical knowledge, but the need to have an external agent capable of analyzing more objectively how the therapeutic link has developed.

Supervision objectives for psychologists

The main objectives of clinical supervision of cases in psychology are as follows.

    1. Resolve doubts

    Especially at the beginning of the intervention process in the clinical field, as well as in the phases of evaluation of the progress made by the patient, some psychotherapists have specific doubts that they cannot resolve on their own, referring to very specific gaps in knowledge. It should be remembered that a lot of information is published each year on mental health research, and it is not always easy to search in these publications.

    Therefore, the opportunity to ask questions directly to those who have been engaged in psychological therapy for years is of great value, as it saves a lot of time and also allows you to have a holistic view of the matter. , in which the information is not. it has been filtered and discarded, mostly showing what is most useful.

    2. Solve stagnation

    One of the most common reasons psychotherapists resort to case monitoring is related to the need to advance therapeutic processes in which no significant improvement is observed. This way it is about channeling the intervention by emphasizing the achievement of concrete and objectivable objectives.

    3. Improve therapeutic skills

    Supervision by psychologists also helps refine therapeutic skills that are not always explained in books: ‘soft skills’ have been found to play an important role in helping patients and connecting better with them, And can be trained more easily if there is a real person who monitors the behavior of the professional who seeks to be supervised.

    4. Share resources and strategies

    It should not be forgotten that the supervision of clinical cases is done through direct communication from professionals who exchange information; this allows the most up-to-date knowledge and resources to be disseminated in a more agile way, without the (relative) rigidity of researching and reading articles in trade journals, postgraduate studies, etc.

    One of the advantages of this is that, when he perceives specific problems or needs that the person requesting the supervision is not quite able to address, the supervisor can propose, on his own initiative, solutions that the supervisor can do. other person had not asked before, due to the fact that the relationship is symmetrical. This is something that occurs less often in interactions of a rather asymmetric type, such as master classes in a university degree or in a master’s degree.

    In short, clinical case follow-up sessions are a means by which knowledge travels spontaneously, responding to specific needs when recognized as such.

    5. It helps to see the therapeutic relationship in perspective.

    Finally, another advantage of this type of service is that it makes it possible to detect problems related to the therapeutic relationship with specific patients. In other words, that is to say phenomena that arise and die during psychotherapy and of which nothing is and cannot be publishedBut they also provide a lot of relevant information that you should know how to use to achieve treatment goals and build a climate of honesty, trust and harmony.

    Are you looking for this type of service for professionals?

    If you work professionally in psychotherapy and are interested in supervision services for psychologists, we invite you to contact us, the El Prat Psychologists center. Our team of professionals has more than 15 years of experience in patient care, and has experts in different therapeutic orientations and different areas of intervention: therapy for children and adolescents, therapy for adults. , sex therapy, perinatal psychology, couples therapy, etc.

    In addition, we supervise both online and in person in Madrid, in 25 or 55 minute sessions.

    To see our contact details, go to this page.

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